Mahsa “Jina” Amini

A woman’s bodily autonomy is not her own

Bridget Maxwell

More stories from Bridget Maxwell


Thoughts and prayers are not enough

Mahsa Amini, daughter to Amjad Amini and Mojgan Amini and sister to Kiaresh Amini was murdered on Sept. 16, 2022 by a skull fracture caused by severe trauma. 

Amini died at the hands of her government over the violation of the Iranian conservative dress code while on a family trip to see her uncle in Tehran. Being from Saqqez County in Kurdistan Province in Iran, the rules in Tehran are an unfamiliar practice to her. 

Kiaresh Amini (Amini’s brother) had noticed bruises on her head and legs. A witness detained with Amini said she had been beaten several times.

According to Iran International, the Iranian government was going to forge fake medical records stating she had a history of heart disease.  A neurosurgeon came forward on state-owned TV claiming he had removed a brain tumor from her when she was eight.

Amini’s father stated she has never had any medical conditions, nor has she had any surgeries. 

During the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran enacted a mandatory dress code for women. A month later the supreme leader of Iran, Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, declared the hijab is required for all women in the workforce. 

By 1983, mandatory hijabs made their way into the penal code, stating they will receive lashes, imprisonment from ten days to two months and/or are required to pay fees. 

Amini’s murder sparked protests in most of Iran’s 32 provinces. Ban on social media access and messaging platforms were put in place to restrict their citizens from each other and the outside world. 

In the Kurdistan province on Sept. 19, protesters were fired on, killing five. The movement spread to Tehran, Sari, Tabriz, Mashhad, Kish and even in parts of Europe and America gathered to raise awareness over the killing of innocent Iranian women. 

Iran Human Rights has confirmed at least 54 people have been killed and hundreds of women detained and abused. 

Amini’s suspicious death in custody is just one of many ill-treatments women face at the hand of the Guidance Patrol.

The “morality police” enforce strict interpretations of the Islamic dress code. The Guidance Patrol reports to the Supreme Leader of Iran while instilling discipline through “re-education centers,” focused on the state’s rule on modesty. 

Despite the government’s persistent attempts to silence them, women are still protesting anti-establishment and creating a movement. 

Standing for the condemnation of the mandatory dress code that killed Amini and many other women like her. As well as pursuing liberty for bodily autonomy and fighting for a more equal Iran. 

Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes found that 72 percent of Iranians opposed the mandatory hijab. Therefore the fight mainly lies with the people in power, those who are pushing their agenda instead of what the people want. 

It is clear the secular ways scare the Islamic regime, they fear it could lead to another Arab Spring.  

This horrific murder of Mahsa Amini may be the tipping point for the reevaluation of Middle Eastern laws, or even a change in power. 

Donate to Justice for Iran, the Iran Human Rights and Human Rights Activist New Agency to help support the movement. 

You can also contribute by spreading factual information about the protests and their crusade online and in person.   

“Improperly veiled women should be made to feel unsafe,” a representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said.


Maxwell can be reached at [email protected]