‘Amini’s murder turned 43 years of grudge into anger’
The murder of Mahsa Amani turned 43 years of grudge into anger, says Nasibe Shamsai, the woman who cut her hair at a protest held outside Tehran’s Istanbul consulate in solidarity with Amini, whose death in Iranian custody sparked mass unrest.
“Our women face many threats every day due to the Islamic republic’s law, they endure tough and tiring experiences every day. However, Iranian women never backed down and didn’t stop fighting, they tried to stand upright and fight,” Shamsai told daily Milliyet.
Stressing that many of her friends are in prison, Shamsai said: “The murder of Amini turned our 43 years of grudge into anger. Until today, the violence in the protests was directed at the people by the security forces. This time, the people respond to violence with violence too, which is a very important difference.”
Shamsaicut her hair on Sept. 21 as dozens of others cheered at a protest held outside Tehran’s Istanbul consulate for Amini, who died on Sept. 16, three days after she was hospitalized following her arrest by the morality police, the unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.
Protests flared in Iran and many countries over the death of the young woman, verified social media posts showed, hours after counter-demonstrations were mobilized by authorities.
Shemsai fled to Türkiye and settled in Istanbul three years ago, when she was sentenced to 12 years in prison as a result of her actions for women’s rights.
“In 2017, Iranian human rights defender lawyer Nesrin Sutude was arrested for defending an activist who took off her headscarf. We distributed white flowers to female passengers of the Tehran subway in solidarity with Sutude,” she said.
Stating that she was detained in a house raid and was detained for six months after being kept in a cell for 15 days, Shemsai said, “All I did was defend women’s rights, which I will continue to do today, as I did yesterday.”