Forcing the Hijab Back On: The anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death and the tightening grip of Iran's state


It’s been a year since Mahsa Amini was killed. 

She was taken from the streets by Iran’s morality police in September 2022. They beat her mercilessly, resulting in the young women falling into a coma, and later dying. 

The protests against her killing, the morality police, and Iran’s mandatory hijab law were instant and persisted for several months. 

However the violent response by the Iranian state eventually forced people off the streets. They killed over 500 people and arrested tens of thousands in the process. 

In the 12 months that have passed since Mahsa’s killing, the state has reasserted itself. The morality police are back. New laws have been established that punish hijab offenders with new lengthy sentences. 

This week on The New Arab Voice, we examine how the state has responded over the past 12 months, why they have returned the morality police, why they have upped the sentence and fines. Additionally, we explore the thinking of the state and why they feel it necessary to ignore the protesters. Why they respond with violence, and what the moves to be the successor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mean. 

To help us understand the past 12 months in Iran, we speak with Sussan Tahmasebi (@sussantweets). Sussan is an Iranian feminist, activists, and he director of FEMENA (@FemenaNet), an organisation that supports women human rights defenders their organisations, and feminist movements in the MENA and Asia regions.

Also, we speak with Dr. Sanam Vakil (@SanamVakil). Dr. Vakil is the Director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House (@CH_MENAP) and the author of Action and Reaction: Women and Politics in Iran.

This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge. 

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.

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