The Iranian Crisis: A Battle For Civil Rights

Mia Shields, Design Editor

It has been nearly 50 years since the Iranian monarchy disbanded. Since then, Islamic fundamentalists have taken control, and the people of Iran have endured enormous changes. A place that once embraced democratic values has shifted to facing backlash for its controlling ways. With all of these efforts and tragedies, the goal of the movement attempts to effectively bring down the Islamic Republic and its supreme leader.

This September, social unrest escalated throughout cities in Iran, including Mashhad and Qom. This movement has served as the most significant test for the theocratic regime since its establishment in 1979, as protesters seek to expose the corruption of their government. However, in retaliation, the Republic has performed mass executions and arrests that have been deemed unlawful

This disarray began with the murder of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being held in detention by the morality police. This caused an uproar; Amini’s death branded her a martyr for change. 

“Going to the moral police is very common. Women have to go to the moral police at a little prison for re-education,” Miami Palmetto Senior High Biology teacher Nicole Swanson said. “And a lot of the times they get beat, it is just horrible just because they did not cover their head.” 

Amini’s death initiated many female-led protests where women appeared in public without head coverings; universities and schools have also taken part in the protests by disregarding their mandatory scarves. 

I mean, my family who’s here who I’ve been talking to, especially my mom is like, ‘they’re all heartbroken, right?’ They’re all heartbroken with everything,” Swanson said.

Mass shootings have occurred in cities such as Shiraz, where the media announced 15 people were killed at a Shia shrine. It is believed that around 40 people have died since issues arose in September. 

“They are kind of clamping down on the internet in Iran. So the little snippets that are coming out are just like a piece of it,” Swanson said. “And there are more people who are dying than are being reported.” 

The nearly 1,000 protesters who have entered detainment face harsh conditions with little to no medical attention, which has raised UN concerns. The bodies of those victims have been held by the government.

“Next Woman Crush Wednesday should be Mahsa Amini, so we can bring awareness to this, it has been kind of going on and just hasn’t stopped and I am really proud of the women who are being so brave,” Swanson said.