Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf doubled down on his government’s brutality toward protesters on Sunday, and called for even greater state violence against those protesting the brutal murder of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini while in police custody. Amini was detained and beaten by the Islamic theocracy’s morality police for allegedly not wearing the hijab too loosely.
“When Iranian woman see what happened to Mahsa, they think it could have happened to them because you hardly find an Iranian woman who has not been either warned or detained or harassed by the morality police,” Golnaz Esfandiari, a senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, told NPR last week. “So we all know we’ve all had this experience.” The protests sparked by her death on Sept. 16 have drawn global support and have grown to encompass a range of grievances — in addition to the state’s repression of women — and have escalated to include calls for overthrowing the clerical establishment.
Though not on the same scale — the Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights reports 133 people have been killed by security forces — protests incited by water shortages caused by drought and extreme heat in the country have also been brutally put down by government forces. The environmental conditions underlying that unrest persist. Amid drought and extreme heat, flash floods killed at least 21 in Fars province in July. (Call for violent crackdown: AP; Water shortages: CBC, New York Times $; Concurrent crises: Atalayar; Recent protest death toll: BBC; Climate Signals background: Drought, Extreme heat and heatwaves; Commentary & Analysis: Kayhan Life, Roshanak Astaraki analysis)