Protests against Iran continue, also in Belgium
Several messages appear on Twitter calling on people to go to the Iranian consulate in Brussels on Friday to demonstrate. Demonstrators around the world have been protesting since last week against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She was reportedly arrested and killed by the Iranian Guidance Patrol earlier this month.
Mahsa Amini was arrested on September 13 in the Iranian capital Tehran for not wearing her headscarf according to laws imposed on women by the Iranian government. When her brother wanted to visit her at the police station, it turned out that she was on her way to hospital in an ambulance, where she died a few days later.
The Guidance Patrol is the Islamic religious police in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Established in 2005, this patrol is tasked with arresting people who violate Islamic dress codes, mostly relating to women wearing hijab to cover their hair. It was this patrol that also arrested Amini.
Since Amini's death, many Iranians have already taken to the streets believing that the young woman was killed by the Guidance Patrol. According to her cousin, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian died after a severe blow to the head. The parents' lawyer informed that complaints have been filed against the officers involved.
Meanwhile, Iranians have been taking to the streets against the regime for days. According to the NGO Iran Human Rights, 76 people have already been killed. According to authorities, more than 1,200 people have also been arrested.
Enemies of the Islamic Republic
On Wednesday, police still warned that they will continue to crack down on protesters.
"The enemies of the Islamic Republic and certain rioters are today trying to disrupt the order and security of the nation under all kinds of pretexts," a press release stated.
According to Iranian state media, thousands of people expressed their support for the regime during a counter-demonstration last Sunday. Besides the regular slogans directed against the United States and Israel, the protesters also scanned, "We follow the system and the Islamic leaders!".
Elly Mansoury, a Belgian-Iranian political scientist, does not see the demonstrations ending any time soon. According to her, most Iranians are against the authoritarian regime.
"It is hard to say how many people are taking to the streets, but social media is reaching many more people across the country," she told Radio 1 earlier this week.
"The protests are much bigger than those in the past. Although I think it is mostly university students and women. I see on social media young girls playing a kind of leading role in the protests."
Meanwhile, the protests outside Iran are also taking on increasing proportions. Last weekend, there were already several demonstrations in Belgium as in the rest of the world. Protesters will again march to the Iranian consulate in Brussels on Friday to denounce abuses in Iran.
© Photographie de Valeria Mongelli / Hans Lucas - Belgium, Brussels, 2022/09/23. Protestors hold signs during a demonstration in support of Mahsa Amini near the Iranian embassy. Mahsa Amini was an Iranian woman who died after being arrested by the morality police in Tehran. Photograph by Valeria Mongelli / Hans Lucas. Belgique, Bruxelles, 2022/09/23. Des manifestants tiennent des pancartes lors d une manifestation en support de Mahsa Amini pres de l ambassade d Iran. Mahsa Amini etait une Iranienne decedee apres avoir ete arretee par la police des moeurs a Teheran.