Dead for showing a few locks of hair

Marina Nemat at CNN writes:

Mahsa Amini is dead because she let the world see a few locks of her hair. She was 22-years-old, beautiful, and full of hope and promise. She died in the custody of Iran’s morality police. She was neither the first, nor will she be the last.

Iranian officials claim she died after suffering a “heart attack” and falling into a coma (she was detained for allegedly breaking rules on wearing the hijab). But Amini’s family – and demonstrators across the country – aren’t buying it. Watching dramatic images of protesters burning their hijabs, cutting their hair and violent confrontations with security forces, shows how little has changed since my own teenage years at the hands of police and Revolutionary Guard brutality.

She was murdered by the regime because she showed some hair. Barbaric.

I was one of those who spoke out against the regime and paid the price – though not as dearly as some of my fellow activists. At the age of 16, I was accused of being an anti-revolutionary and sent to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Even now, decades later, every night when I go to bed, I think of my cellmates. Many are dead, executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 1980s. And those who survived, like me, were tortured in prison. Guards and interrogators, all men, tied us to bare beds in small, windowless rooms that stunk of sweat, urine, and fear, and they lashed the soles of our feet with lengths of cable – heavy, hard, and cruel. It hurt so much that I could not even scream. I was later led to a mock execution, threatened, and raped. I was practically a child and so were many of my cellmates.

Makes the Taliban look civilised.

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