Why the hashtag headscarf is trending and what Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has to do with it

Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini died in hospital on Friday. She was arrested by the Iranian moral police for allegedly wearing her headscarf incorrectly.Credit: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

09/19/2022, 12:04 p.m09/19/2022, 18:26

Navid Moshgbar

After the death of a young woman in police custody, people took to the streets in several cities in Iran. According to an Iranian news agency, there were also clashes with security forces. Security forces intervened during demonstrations in the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan on Sunday evening. Warning shots are said to have been fired. Several people were injured.

Local authorities confirmed the protests but put the number of participants down. There was talk of several arrests on social media, which have not yet been confirmed. In Berlin, too, people took to the streets on Saturdayto protest the young woman’s death in front of the Iranian embassy.

Mahsa Amini died in hospital.

Mahsa Amini died in hospital.Credit: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

On the Internet, many Iranians mourned the young woman who was arrested by the moral and religious police on Tuesday during a family visit in the capital Tehran because of her “un-Islamic” outfit and taken to a police station.

According to the police, she fainted and then went into a coma because of heart failure. Her death was confirmed on Friday.

However, another version was also circulating online. Amini was arrested because her headscarf didn’t fit properly and a few strands of hair were visible. After the arrest, she was hit on the head, which led to a brain hemorrhage, a coma and finally to her brain death on Tuesday.

Women cut their hair in solidarity

Many Iranians were outraged that a young woman had to die because of “a few strands of hair”. They criticized the strict dress code as outdated. Criticism also comes up in the German-speaking network. Journalist Natalie Amiri wrote: “Women in #Iran are cutting their hair. Why? Because #MahsaAmini’s hair was visible and that’s why she had to die.”

Several politicians showed their sympathy for the Iranian women’s protests. So does the SPD politician Sawsan Chebli.

She wrote:

“Women take off their headscarves to send a signal. Mahsa had to die because she ‘didn’t wear her headscarves properly’. These women are so brave! The least we could do: don’t forget them tomorrow.”

There was also criticism that Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had not yet reacted. Feminist Foreign Policy should be the basis of their politics be. She reiterated that in a tweet last week.

Djir-Sarai criticizes Baerbock for her silence

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai indicated in a tweet that he expected a reaction from Baerbock. He wrote: “Disappointing that even countries with so-called feminist foreign policies ignore these horrific crimes against women.”

Iran has had strict dress codes for women since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. For just as long, however, women, especially in the metropolises, ignored them – much to the annoyance of ultra-conservative politicians. The government in Tehran and the hardliners in parliament have been trying for months to enforce Islamic laws more strictly.

(With material from dpa)

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