It’s been two weeks since protests erupted across Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the woman arrested in Tehran by the country’s morality police for wearing her hijab wrong, who later died in police custody.
Since the start of protests, women have chopped off their hair in demonstrations across the world. At least 28 journalists have been detained, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, including Niloufar Hamedi, who was one of the first journalists to report on Amini’s death. Hamedi, who works for the Tehran-based reformist daily Shargh, was reportedly arrested in a raid on September 22 and is currently being held in solitary confinement.
At least 52 protesters have been killed in the Iran protests and hundreds injured, according to the latest report by Amnesty International. (The Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization has reported at least 83 protesters dead.) Amnesty’s report also revealed that, according to leaked documents, Iran’s highest military body told commanders to “severely confront troublemakers and anti-revolutionaries” as well as to “confront” all protesters “mercilessly, going as far as causing deaths.”
“The Iranian authorities knowingly decided to harm or kill people who took to the streets to express their anger at decades of repression and injustice,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said in a statement. “Amid an epidemic of systemic impunity that has long prevailed in Iran, dozens of men, women and children have been unlawfully killed in the latest round of bloodshed.”
Across social media, people are sharing images of the protesters killed by security forces; 23-year-old Hananeh Kian, 20-year-old Hadis Najafi, 17-year-old Nika Shahkarami, 18-year-old Mahsa Mogoi, among dozens of others.
Iran’s internet has been cut off for days; the country continues to blame the West for all the protests; and Iran’s foreign minister told NPR, “There is not going to be regime change in Iran. Don’t play to the emotions of the Iranian people.”
But on Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Iran’s morality police have all but disappeared from the streets. “What we can see from the current protests and strikes...is a very real possibility of regime change,” Nasrin Sotoudeh, the country’s leading women’s rights lawyer who’s currently on medical furlough from her 38-prison sentence, said in an interview with Time. “I in no way see a return to the past, no matter the nature of the crackdown. Even if the people’s demands are not met, the reality will have shifted permanently. They will not tolerate the compulsory veil any more.”
Here are some of the most powerful images that have emerged from the global demonstration: