Mourning and anger at Kottbusser Tor: Iranian and Kurdish women protest against oppression in Iran

“Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” is heard from the crowd, a Kurdish exclamation that translates as “women, life, freedom” and is originally an expression of the Kurdish feminist freedom movement. Around 200 people gathered in front of the Kottbusser Tor underground station on Monday afternoon to protest against the Islamic Republic of Iran two days after the death of 22-year-old Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini.

The young woman died on Friday after being stopped and arrested by Iran’s moral police for allegedly not “properly” wearing the headscarf that is compulsory for women in Iran. According to the police, she died of cardiac arrest, but large sections of the Iranian population are opposed to this portrayal of events.

They believe that Jina Mahsa Amini, who came from the Kurdish city of Sine in Iran, fell into a coma from beatings by the Iranian police and succumbed to her injuries. The rally was initiated by activists from the group “Say it Loud”, while the Association of Iranian Refugees in Berlin eV and the Yazidi organization Destan helped organize it.

About 200 people came to the rally.
About 200 people came to the rally.
© Photo: Büşra Delikaya

There were speeches in Persian, Kurdish and German. “The killing of Jina is another in a series of systematic killings committed by the Islamic regime and its regressive, chauvinistic laws for more than four decades,” said a spokeswoman for the Yazidi organization.

Activists cut their hair during the rally

Slogans such as “From Tehran to Kurdistan – Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” were shouted in Persian and the importance of a “common struggle of all oppressed peoples and women” was emphasized in speeches. The Armenian soldier Anuscheh was also remembered, whose body was desecrated by Azerbaijani soldiers a few days ago and the crime was caught on camera.

After almost an hour, four women stepped into the middle of the square one after the other and – as a sign of protest against the compulsory headscarf in Iran – cut their hair with scissors, which was accompanied by a rhythmic stamping of feet by the surrounding demo participants.

Political refugee Zeinab Bayazidi, who spent four and a half years in Iranian prison ten years ago, said: “We have always said that there can be no freedom for women unless there is freedom for all women. The Iranian women have also understood this and join us in calling for women, life, freedom.”

After two hours, the rally broke up with the laying of flowers and candles “in memory of Jina and all oppressed women and political prisoners in Iran”.

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