A strict dress code and a worrying situation in Iran

Iran sent “a relatively small number” of Revolutionary Guard Corps members to Russian-occupied Crimea to help Moscow launch Shahed-136 kamikaze drones at Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and civilians, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Oct. 20.

In Iran itself the young girl Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, was arrested by Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly infringing on the country’s strict dress code. Amini’s family has claimed she was beaten in custody, while a state coroner maintains that she died due to pre-existing medical conditions. Since her funeral, which took place one day after her death, protests have erupted across Iran and continued after the normal mourning period was over. Her death and the reason why became the cause of the protest by women who feel that enough is enough now with the oppression of women. Women and young girls started fighting for their basic human rights.

For women in Iran, not wearing a hijab – or having some of their hair exposed while wearing a hijab – is a punishable offense ranging from fines to imprisonment. Not all women agree with wearing conservative clothing and do find they should have the right to decide themself what and how to wear certain clothes. Students and schoolgirls, some of whom have burned their headscarves, clashed with security forces. Several women came to cut their hair in public.

Since the protests began, riot police have attacked protestors with brutal force and already killed more than 250 people. Security services also threatened Amini’s family not to hold a ceremony for their daughter, saying “they should worry for their son’s life.”

On the 26th of October, when Iranian police reportedly fired on protesters as thousands of mourners gathered in the hometown of Mahsa Amini for a ceremony to mark the end of mourning 40 days after her death, at least 15 people were killed and 21 wounded when gunmen attacked a mosque in Iran’s southern city of Shiraz, state media reported, calling it a “terrorist act.” Two of the three assailants have been arrested, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. It’s unclear whether the assault is linked to nationwide anti-government protests that started almost six weeks ago.

But riots spread across the country. With the government allowing its soldiers to attack with bullets just like that, this naturally provokes counter-violence among some, and one can also hear voices here and there to go to total resistance against the government, which would mean that Iran would fall into civil war.

Also on Wednesday 26 October, mastercook Mehrshad Shahidi was killed the day before his 20th birthday. He received blows to his skull while in the custody of the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guard’s base in the city of Arak. His family claim that officials had pushed them to tell the public that the 19-year-old’s cause of death was a heart attack.

“Our son lost his life as a result of receiving baton blows to his head after his arrest, but we have been under pressure by the regime to say that he has died of a heart attack”,

a relative of Mehrshad told Iran International TV in London.

The head of the justice department for the Province of Tehran, cleric Abdolmehdi Mousavi dismissed the family’s comments.

Mr Shahidi had 25,000 followers on Instagram and was known for videos of him cooking shared widely on social media.

Students at the University of Arak, where Mr Mehrshad worked as head chef, described him as a “popular man” who was “energetic and handsome”.

Security forces are struggling to contain the protests that, by their own fault, are evolving into a broader campaign to end the Islamic republic founded in 1979.

“Death to the dictator,”

said activists on Saturday at a ceremony to mark 40 days of protests, using a slogan aimed at supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The largest gathering was at the central Tehran branch of Islamic Azad University, a private university system headquartered in Tehran, but other protests occurred on the university’s North Tehran campus. Security forces responded by using teargas and firing pellet guns.

Students at Qazvin International University chanted the slogan:

“From Zahedan to Shiraz, I sacrifice my life for Iran.”

At Mazandaran University, the crowds chanted:

“If we do not stand together, we are killed one by one.”

At some universities, students had dismantled partition walls in canteens put there to separate men and women.

More than 300 journalists have put their names to a letter demanding the release of two journalists who were among the first to report on the death of Amini. In their joint statement, they warned that

“without free and responsible journalism, the society will not be able to identify and solve its problems”.

The Iranian government wants others to believe that those two journalists were spies of the West.

According Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi

“The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots pave the ground for terrorist acts.”

 

There lies the danger lurking around the corner that several groups will take advantage of the people’s discontent to try to turn the tide.

The scale of the protests has left the regime veering from threats to promises of dialogue about why young people feel socially excluded.

Many of our members and Iranian friends, are worried about family & friends, some of whom may be caught up in the unrest in Iran. All are concerned about the outcome and the possible effects upon their homeland.

We pray for peace, we pray for good to overcome evil and we pray for Jesus to return to establish peace and righteousness.

 

 

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Find to read

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  16. High Alert After Saudi Arabia Warns Of Imminent Iranian Attack: Report
  17. Harris calls for Iran’s ouster from UN group charged with protecting women’s rights 

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