Image description: Mahsa Amini juxtaposed against a background showing the state of tumult and protests in Iran. End ID.
Image description: Mahsa Amini juxtaposed against a background showing the state of tumult and protests in Iran. End ID.

Illustration by Dulce Pop-Bonini

One Year After Mahsa: More Arrests and Harsher Sentences

The Iranian government has arrested family members of killed protestors and passed harsher hijab laws anticipating the one year anniversary of Mahsa (Jina) Amini’s death.

Sep 25, 2023

Based on eyewitness accounts and visible bruising, 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini was believed to have been severely beaten by arresting morality police officers for not adhering to Iranian hijab laws. She fell into a coma shortly afterwards and died three days later. A year has passed since her death on Sept. 16, 2022.
Amjad Amini, Jina’s father, , was briefly detained prior to the anniversary of her death and warned against holding a vigil at her graveside. Jina’s uncle, Safa Aeli, was also arrested by intelligence agents just days prior to Sept. 16.
Reports show similar detainments targeting family members of killed protestors. Nasrin Alizadeh and Kourosh Vazir, the sister and the husband of killed protestor Shirin Alizadeh, and Mahsa Yazdani, the mother of killed 20-year-old protestor Mohammad Javad Zahedi, were arrested on Aug. 23. Shirin Alizadeh was filming a protest when she got shot by security forces. Mohammad Javad Zahedi was also shot by security forces. [Warning: link contains graphic images].
On Aug. 31, killed protestor Jamshid Mokhtari’s 17-year-old niece, Meysam Mohammadian, and 34-year-old cousin, Saadat Mokhtari, were arrested. Jamshid was shot four times by officers during the May protests.
The mother of 19-year-old Yalda Aghafazli was arrested on Sept. 17. Yalda was arrested on Oct. 26, 2022, and released 10 days later, after which she committed suicide.
19-year-old Reza Moazami Goodarzi’s brother was arrested on Nov. 17, 2019, after being directly shot by officers. A series of mass protests erupted in Iran from Nov. 15 until Nov. 19 in 2019 over rising gas prices, with 321 confirmed deaths by Amnesty International. Reza’s family have previously been pressured by security forces to bury him in a distant village and refrain from holding funeral and vigil proceedings.
16-year-old protestor Nika Shahkarami’s family have also been under pressure by intelligence officers. Her mother and sister have been threatened with arrests and advised to not hold vigil ceremonies for the anniversary of her death. Roadblocks have also been reported on the road to Hayat al-Gheib cemetery, where Nika is buried. Nika Shakarami disappeared on Sept. 20, 2022, after attending a protest in Tehran. Her body was found 10 days later in a detention center morgue with a broken nose and skull.
Furthermore, the Iranian government is attempting to intensify hijab laws and enlist harsher penalties via the Hijab and Chastity bill, which classifies improper hijab as a crime with punishments ranging from a prison sentence of five to ten years as well as fines up to 360 million Iranian rials ($8,522).
Protests continue despite these attempted deterrents in various parts of the country, which are met with crack downs from Iranian security forces.
Azadeh is a contributing writer. Email them at
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