Iranian Protests Sparks World Interest

Iranian Protests Sparks World Interest

By Kaitlyn Nussbaum and Joyce Ahn

Recently, there have been protests in Iran that have been brought to the World Cup.

In September, Masha Amini, a 22-year-old girl, was arrested by the morality police for wearing skinny jeans and her hijab incorrectly according to EuroNews. Amini was allegedly beaten up several times and died on September 16th. However, the government and police denied all accusations they received and blamed it on an “underlying disease”.

In response to Amini’s murder, women began protesting. These peaceful protests were first started by women, however soon men started to protest with them as well. In these non-violent protests, women burned their hijabs and some cut off their hair. However, at times there were also violent protesters. Some protesters torched the buildings of security forces. Security forces acted on this very harshly. They shot people who encouraged protests by honking their horns.

More than 402 people have been reported killed according to EuroNews, as well as 58 children. However, the U.S.-based Human Rights Activists News Agency predicts that deaths are much higher, as many things go unreported. Many people were killed by government troops. 

Unrest from past events has been brought to the world cup in Qatar. on Tuesday, November 21, Some of Iran’s World Cup team fans booed the national anthem and waved flags with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom.” They were then escorted out of the stadium by security. Iran’s World Cup players refused to sing the national anthem, in protest with the fans.

Players have also spoken sympathetically towards these protests. After a goal that sealed the win against Wales, Ramin Razaeean, a defender on the Iran World Cup Team said the goal was a gift for his people in Iran. “Especially those who are suffering,” he added. A teacher in Wayne Hills, Mr. Van Ness has a lot to say about these protests. “With what’s happening right now, it’s an absolute necessity that Iran has pushed people to the brink that they are now pushing for freedom. That young woman in custody has spurred a lot of anger and it has come at a time of increased tensions. These protests are happening at the same time as the world cup. We actively saw iranian cheering for the united states because they are unhappy with the current state of their government.” 

Last week, Voria Ghafouri, a member of the 2018 World Cup Team was arrested and charged with  “Propaganda against the Islamic Republic and insulting the national football team” for speaking in support of the protesters. Fans concluded he did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup as a punishment for his activism. Fans smuggled shirts and banners into the stadium that bore the faces of two Paris-based Iranian dissident group leaders. They waved the banners during halftime while the macarena was playing. Omid Djalili, an Iranian-British actor, and comedian who tracked the team said the further they get into the tournament the further interest the fans will put into these protests.

However, On Tuesday, November 29th, Iran lost to the U.S. World Cup team, which means that they are knocked out of the World Cup. People are still bravely fighting and protesting for their rights, even though there is a high risk of being arrested, or worse, being killed.