Mahsa Amini was born to a Kurdish family in the city of Saqqez in Northwestern Iran on September 23rd 1999. Her Kurdish name was Jina (also spelled Zhina), however as only Persian names can be registered in Iran, Mahsa was used. Her father Amjad is an employee in a government organisation and her mum, Mojgan, is a housewife. Mahsa graduated from Taleghani Girls High School in 2018 and had only just been admitted to university at the time of her death.
The reason Mahsa was in Tehran was to visit her brother, Kiarash, not long after, she was arrested by the Guidance Police, otherwise known as the Morality Police. To give you a little context about the ‘morality police’, since 1979 it was decreed by the regime that wearing a hijab (headscarf) was to be compulsory for all women and this has led to women being targeted by said police, resulting in lashings and prison sentences for improper observance. It was for the crime of ‘improper observance’ that Mahsa was taken into custody.
she was arrested by the Guidance Police, otherwise known as the Morality Police…
Initially, Kiarash (who was with her at the time) was informed that she would undertake a class to help ‘correct’ her mistake and would be released in an hour. Later, Kiarash was informed that she’d had a heart attack and a brain seizure and was taken to hospital. Co-detainees of Mahsa‘s had witnessed her being insultedandtortured in the van on the way to the station and shortly after her arrival she began to lose vision and fainted. She was in a coma for two days and sadly passed away in an intensive care unit, three days after her detention.
Regime supporters have since tried to frame the incident as a result of psychological stress brought about by a pre-existing brain condition. It has been reported however by Iran International (Persian language station based in London), that the government was forging fake medical records for Mahsa as a way of demonstrating her history of heart disease. A neurosurgeon even claimed on state TV that she’d had a brain tumour at age 8 which had been extracted. The coroner’s findings in October reaffirmed the state’s narrative that Mahsa had died as a result of pre-existing health conditions, rather than the physical torture she had endured.
contradicted evidence that Mahsa’s injuries were a result of the severe beatings she had sustained…
This naturally contradicted evidence that Mahsa’s injuries were a result of the severe beatings she had sustained, as well as the fact that she’d never even been to hospital for any type of brain abnormalities. Within hours of Mahsa‘s death on the 16th September, protests began and have since spread all over the country. Why have I taken such a passionate stance on this issue? It’s not mere humanitarian reasons with a young girl losing her life in such a tragic way for no justifiable reasons at the hands of a brutal regime. I have roots in that country as you will soon read…
My mum, Jaleh, is from Iran, she first came to the UK in 1974 (or thereabouts) and at that time King Reza Shah Pahlavi in charge of the country. Until the revolution in 1979, the country had largely enjoyed prosperity with women in possession of equal rights with a choice of what to wear on both their heads and bodies. Iranians could travel anywhere in the world without needing a visa and the country was one of the most admired and respected in the world.
43 years of the most repressive, sadistic and corrupt regimes in living memory…
Unfortunately, with the ‘supreme leader’ Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, or as he was best known in the Western world Ayatollah Khomeini, came 43 years of the most repressive, sadistic and corrupt regimes in living memory and as you can imagine, that’s up against some pretty stiff competition. The country is ruled with an iron fist with propaganda pumped into people’s homes by the state TV station IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) who brainwash the population with respect to the evils of the West, particularly the US and Israel.
Much like the Kim Dynasty in North Korea, Joseph Stalin in the USSR and Papa Doc/Baby Doc Duvelier in Haiti, there is also the cult of personality that comes with the ‘supreme leader’, now Ali Khamenei – who has been in power since 1989. Despite elections and a president, it is the ‘supreme leader’ who ultimately has the final say in all matters of state, both domestically and internationally. I could go on with respect to the governmental make up and history of the country, but there are people far more versed in this than I am.
I lived in the country for two years between 1992–1994 and I felt the omnipresent sense of fear…
I lived in the country for two years between 1992–1994 and I felt the omnipresent sense of fear that permeated throughout society. I visited the country again in 2001 and 2007 but made a decision after my last visit that I would not go back until there was a regime change.
I felt compelled to write this short article as a tribute to the women and men now striving hard for freedom and I would like to dedicate this as well, as all future articles/reviews/interviews, to them. I feel quite helpless sat in Lancaster, all I know how to do is spread awareness, love and positive energy. I have always been a glass half-full kinda guy, and for me, I know that eventually good always prevails in the end.
I felt compelled to write this short article as a tribute to the women and men now striving hard for freedom…
Below then are seven hardcore classics that I’ve selected to dedicate to the revolutionaries. N.B. This is now a revolution and not a protest. I implore everyone reading this article to keep posting and reposting events happening in Iran, keep spreading awareness, information is power. Two great sources can be found on Instagram – @1500tasvir and @from____iran.
Zan, Zendegi, Azadi – Woman, Life, Freedom.
Dead Kennedys ‘Religious Vomit’
Discharge ‘Drunk With Power’
Black Flag ‘Rise Above’
DRI ‘Violent Pacification’
Raw Power ‘Politicians’
Ratos de Porão ‘Crucificados Pelo Sistema’
Anti Cimex ‘Warmachine’
Scribed by: Reza Mills