Fans rushed to chant the name of Mahsa Amini at Iran World Cup matches

Fans rushed to chant the name of Mahsa Amini at Iran World Cup matches


Activists have urged football fans attending Iran’s World Cup games later this month to chant the name of Mahsa Amini, whose death in custody sparked nationwide protests.

Iran has been rocked by eight weeks of protests since Amini’s death after she was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women based on Islamic Sharia law.

Despite a bloody crackdown, the protests, which initially saw women burning their hijab headscarves and cutting their hair, have evolved into a broader movement calling for the end of the Islamic Republic.

Suffragette Negin Shiraghaei called on viewers to chant 22-year-old Amini’s name in the 22nd minute of every game Iran plays at the World Cup in Qatar.

“Join us to remind the world what is happening in Iran by shouting Mahsa’s name in minute 22 of this World Cup football match,” read a post on her Twitter account.

Masih Alinejad, a New York-based activist originally from Iran who opposes the mandatory hijab, also appealed to World Cup fans to chant Amini’s name.

“Help us immortalize #MahsaAmini and our fight against this brutal regime. Say #MahsaAmini in the 22nd minute of every World Cup game,” she tweeted.

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights says at least 304 people have been killed across Iran since protests over Amini’s death on September 16.

The protests have been fueled by anger over restrictive dress codes for women, but have grown into a broader movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the Shah was overthrown in 1979.

Iranian sports stars are among the celebrities who have publicly supported the Amini protests, getting some of them into trouble with the authorities.

In late September, former Iran international Hossein Maanahi was arrested for supporting “riots” on his social media pages, according to state media.

All but two players of the Iran national soccer team refused to sing the country’s anthem before playing a friendly against Nicaragua in Tehran on Thursday night, according to footage shared online.

In late September, the entire team remained clad in black during the anthems instead of showing the Iranian national uniform, which was seen as a tribute to those killed in the protests.

The Islamic Republic has attempted to portray the protest movement as a conspiracy hatched by the United States and its allies.

At the World Cup, which begins in Qatar on November 20, Iran will face England on November 21, Wales on November 25 and the United States on November 29.

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