'Death to the dictator': Iranian schoolgirls protest headscarf law

'Death to the dictator': Iranian schoolgirls protest headscarf law
Schoolgirls joined the protests against the Iranian regime, removing their mandatory hijabs, telling clerics to 'go to hell' and burning photos of Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
3 min read
04 October, 2022
Headscarves and other 'modest dress' are mandatory in Iranian law [Getty]

Iranian schoolgirls and students are leading anti-government protests that have rocked the country since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody.

Videos have emerged showing teenage girls in black school uniforms ripping off and burning the Islamic headscarf in protest against its enforcement by the state.

They chanted anti-regime slogans such as "Death to the Dictator", in an apparent reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while burning and stomping on his photos and telling the ruling clerics to "go to hell".

"We don't want the Islamic Republic. Khamenei is a murderer; his reign is done", is also another popular chant among the schoolgirls.

The protesters urged each other to unite to prevent the security forces from killing protesters "one by one".

Teenage girls in the city of Karaj, northwest of the capital Tehran, were filmed pushing away a man, believed to be an education official, who visited their school shouting "shame on you".

The protests have been met with violence by security forces, including police and the volunteer Basij militia, who have been leading a crackdown on the protests. More than 130 people have been killed, with thousands arrested and hundreds injured, according to rights groups.

On Monday, Khamenei spoke out against the uprising and claimed it is being stoked by the United States and Israel, which was mocked and rejected by protesters.

The protests come after Mahsa Amini was detained for allegedly wearing her headscarf "incorrectly" and died in custody. Witnesses and her family say she was tortured leading to her death with women burning their scarves and cutting their hair in protest.

University students on Monday staged strikes after security forces clashed with students at Tehran's prominent Sharif University on Sunday.

Dozens of students were arrested, and many injured according to social media posts and videos. Iran's state news agency said most of the arrested students were released.

Authorities said only doctoral students at Sharif University would be allowed on campus until further notice, state media reported.

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The protests have spiralled into the biggest show of opposition to Iran's authorities in years, with many calling for the end of more than four decades of Islamic clerical rule.