[사설] Civil protest over ‘death of hijab’, Iran should stop resorting to violence

At least 75 people have been killed as the Iranian government cracked down on protests over the question of hijab, the Iranian Institute of Human Rights (IHR) said on the 26th. Since the 16th, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, was arrested by the religious police for not wearing a hijab and died mysteriously, anti-government protests have continued in more than 80 cities, causing bloodshed . . Iranian women are taking to the streets wearing hijabs to protest that Amini’s sacrifice is not for anyone else. Along with international solidarity with peaceful protesters, voices are also condemning Iran’s bloody conflict. He expressed his support and solidarity with the protesters and urged the Iranian government to stop the blockade.

The basis of these protests is the oppression of women under the theocracy in Iran. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian government made it compulsory for women to wear the hijab in public and restricted their participation in society. This is motivated by the economic crisis in Iran. With the majority of the population falling below the poverty line, the rate of inflation has been above 50% for three months. This is mainly due to the restoration of sanctions against Iran after the Trump administration in the United States broke the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2018. The conservative government of Ebrahim Raishi, which came to power in June last year, failed to criticize the moderate government , with solving the economic difficulties of the poor. The middle class, young people, and women oppose the iron fist rule of Laishi, a former prosecutor. It is worth noting that this demonstration is supported by a wide range of classes. The slogan “Death to the dictator” is said to have appeared towards Khamenei, an Islamic cleric who has reigned as supreme leader for 33 years. There is a growing backlash against Iran’s theocracy. The international community is also responding to the protesters. US President Joe Biden said he would “join Iranian women fighting to protect human rights,” and the Treasury Department added religious police to the list of sanctions. Germany, together with the countries of the European Union (EU), also suggested the possibility of additional sanctions on Iran. On the 25th, more than 100 Iranians gathered in Teheran-ro, Seoul, and demanded the recall of Amini and an investigation into the truth.

It is unacceptable for a government that has failed in the livelihood of the people while suppressing the basic rights of citizens with an ideology to inflict violence on the citizens who resist. Iran must immediately stop cracking down on protesters and reveal the truth about Amini’s death. The time has come to devise measures to guarantee the human rights of citizens, including women. The hope is that the nuclear negotiations will end as soon as possible to lift international sanctions and normalize the economy.

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