Sep 22, 2022

Iran Protests Intensify As Women Burn Headscarves In Defiance Of Police Transcript

Iran Protests Intensify As Women Burn Headscarves In Defiance Of Police Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsIranIran Protests Intensify As Women Burn Headscarves In Defiance Of Police Transcript

Outrage is growing in Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody. Read the transcript here.

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Ali Arouzi: (00:00)
Tonight, the protests in Iran intensifying on their sixth day. Officials say three people, including a member of the security forces, were killed Tuesday, bringing the death toll to seven since Saturday. Anger sweeping across the country following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in Tehran last week after being taken into custody by the morality police for ‘unsuitable attire’, authorities deemed that the pants she was wearing under her compulsory loose-fitting gown to be too tight. Police said she died Friday after falling ill and slipping into a coma as she waited with other women held by the morality police, her death now sparking a movement against the imposed Islamic dress code that was established in 1979.

Prof. Hanan Hammad: (00:49)
The high level of repression, and also the symbolism of hijab and the presence of morality police is a tool of both violence and corruption.

Ali Arouzi: (01:00)
Protests breaking out at universities across the country, spreading to the streets. In cities across Iran, women are showing displays of defiance against the strict dress code, burning their hijabs while large crowds cheer them on.

Prof. Hanan Hammad: (01:15)
We should understand this is an act of solidarity against a corrupt, repressive regime that dictates to women what to do with their bodies and how to cover or uncover it.

Ali Arouzi: (01:27)
Last night, the most destructive yet. Images show confrontations between security forces and protestors, who also chanted slogans against the Islamic Republic, the regime pushing back. The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights say that law enforcement brutally beat demonstrators. The organization says hundreds of Kurds have been injured and that the internet access in all cities in the Kurdish region have been entirely cut off since Wednesday morning. The state also restricting access to Instagram, one of the country’s last remaining social media platforms and limiting WhatsApp according to NetBlocks. Around the world, protests are seen, in Turkey.

Speaker 3: (02:12)
[foreign language 00:02:12].

Ali Arouzi: (02:28)
The United Nations calling for an investigation into Amini’s death.

Ravina Shamdasani: (02:32)
Must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent, competent authority.

Ali Arouzi: (02:39)
With more protests in Lebanon, Germany, Canada, and even New York, where Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is attending the UN General Assembly. The country strongly rejected those calls for an independent investigation saying, “If the US government is concerned about the Iranian nation, it should remove its decades old oppressive, unilateral, illegal siege against the Iranian nation.” But back in Tehran, protests of this nature where women burn their headscarves, one of the most important symbols for the Islamic Republic, while young people clash with the police, would’ve been unimaginable just days ago. The question is, how long can they go on? And how hard will the regime crack down in the coming days?

Tom Llamas: (03:28)
Ali Arouzi joins Top Story tonight from Iran live. Ali, I’m watching this and I’m wondering about so many things. We were hearing these reports about apps being shut down, internet connections being slowed down. What are you experiencing right now?

Ali Arouzi: (03:46)
That’s right. The internet has ground down to an almost hold here. They’ve all the apps in this country, Tom, were already blocked like Twitter, Facebook. And the only ones that ever worked here were WhatsApp and Instagram, and now they’re blocked as well. And they do that because they don’t want the people that are going outside protesting to be able to mobilize, to organize themselves. And even more importantly, they don’t want people uploading those videos you’re seeing that are coming out today of violence on the streets of Iran, and that’s why they block them. And it’s also important to point out, Tom, that are about 70% of Iranians that do their business online use Instagram. So it’s going to be a huge blow to the economy as well. You’ll remember when the 2019 protests happened over fuel prices, there were massive protests, there was a brutal crackdown, and the government shut the internet in the country down for 10 days.

Tom Llamas: (04:39)
Ali, is this a turning point? Will this poor woman’s death motivate the people of Iran stand up and fight back until there is change?

Ali Arouzi: (04:50)
Well, Tom, they already are. They’re showing incredible courage and bravery, and huge personal risk, going out into the street and fighting with the militias, the riot police, even the IRGC at some point. So this is already a change. The fact that Iranian women are burning their headscarves in the middle of the street would’ve been unimaginable just a few days ago. Now, the government are going to have a serious problem trying to put this back into the box. They’re going to try very hard, but the genie’s out of the bottle, Tom.

Speaker 6: (05:26)
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