Former Iran detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe cuts hair in Mahsa Amini protest

Former Iran detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe cuts hair in Mahsa Amini protest
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe spent six years in Iranian detention, after being arrested at Tehran airport during a family visit.
2 min read
29 September, 2022
Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe was detained by Iranian authorites for six years [BBC]

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has cut her hair in support of protesters in Iran who have taken to the streets demanding justice following the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

The former Iran detainee shared a video showing her snipping parts of her hair with scissors, joining Iranian activists in the online protest.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained by Iranian authorities at Tehran airport in 2016 and held until she was released in March 2022 along with another British national, Anoosheh Ashoori.

She was accused by Tehran of spying, charges she and her family strongly denied and was widely seen as being linked to a historic debt owed by the British government to Iran.

"For Mahsa (Amini), for Pouya, for Mostafa," she says with each snip of the scissors in the video provided to BBC Persian.

The New Arab can confirm that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was referring to 27-year-old Pouya Bakhtiari, shot dead at a 2019 protest in Karaj, and Mostafa Karim-Beigi, who was killed in 2009 protests.

 "For my mother, for my daughter, for the fear of solitary confinement, for the women of my country, for freedom," she concludes.

Behind Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a blackboard with the hashtag #MahsaAmini written in English, her name in Farsi, and 'freedom', 'father', and other words.

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Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran's religious police for allegedly not covering her hair sufficiently and was taken to a detention centre, where she went into a coma.

Iranian authorities claim she suffered a heart attack in detention but her family and witnesses say she was beaten by police, leading to her death.

Hackers released a letter on Thursday claiming to show that Iranian officials knew of Amini's injuries suffered during her arrest.

Her death led to huge anti-government protests in Iran, demanding the religious police be dissolved and against mandatory dress codes.

The demonstrations have been brutally suppressed by Iranian security forces, with around 76 killed in two weeks, according to activists.

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