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Swedish lawmaker cuts her hair in solidarity with Iranian women in EU speech

AP Photo/Francois Mori
A woman rides a bicycle in a tunnel in Paris on Oct. 5, 2022, by a mural depicting women cutting their hair to show support for Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of a young woman in police custody. Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets over the past two weeks to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in Tehran.

A Swedish lawmaker cut her hair during a speech before the European Union in solidarity with Iranians protesting the death of a woman in the custody of Iran’s morality police. 

Abir al-Sahlani, a member of the European parliament who was born in Iraq, denounced the Iranian regime in light of the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who was arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly. 

Amini allegedly collapsed after being arrested by the morality police, which is tasked with enforcing religious observance in the country, and died days later. Iranian officials have said she died from a heart attack, but Amin’s family and the United Nations have said she was “severely beaten” while in custody. 

Amini’s death has led to protests throughout Iran that have seen some Iranian women burning their hijabs and publicly cutting their hair in violation of Iran’s laws. 

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, and dozens have reportedly been killed. 

Al-Sahlani said in her speech on Tuesday that the citizens of the EU demand an “unconditional and immediate” stop to all violence against women and men in Iran. 

“Until the women of Iran are free, we are going to stand with you,” she said as she picked up a pair of scissors and cut her hair. 

Al-Sahlani said history and Allah will not forgive the Iranian regime for the “crimes against humanity” it is committing against its own citizens. 

The morality police stepped up their enforcement of religious observance under President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner who became the president of Iran last year. Former President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who was term-limited, oversaw more lax enforcement from the police force.

Tags Ebrahim Raisi EU European Union European Union Hassan Rouhani hijab Iran Iran protests Iranian protests Mahsa Amini Mahsa Amini morality police

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