Protests supporting Iran erupted in more than 80 cities worldwide.

Iranians are protesting the end to the Islamic Republic’s rule after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was taken into “morality police” custody for allegedly wearing a loose hijab, breaking strict morality rules.

She died while in custody, and witnesses of the incident claim the police killed her.

At least 41 people have died during the unrest, including Iranian police officers, according to The Washington Post.

Women have been filmed tearing off hijabs and cutting their hair in a show of protest for current laws regarding morality in the country, per The New York Times.

What are the Iran anti-government protests about?

Tension has been building in the country for months under claims that the country’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, has increased morality laws and “has targeted women,” per The New York Times.

Raisi threatened a harsh crackdown on the protests on Saturday, saying he would make “a decisive strike on the disrupters of security and peace of the country,” Iranian news outlets reported, per The Washington Post.

“The death has tapped into broader antigovernment sentiment in the Islamic Republic and especially the frustration of women,” wrote Eurasia Group, per The Associated Press.

In Oshnavieh, a Western town, locals told BBC “that demonstrators had seized control overnight and that security forces and government officials had fled, before regaining control on Saturday.”

Protests in Iran escalate over death of 22-year-old woman in police custody

What do demonstrators in Iran want to change?

The Union of Islamic Iran People’s Party are calling to end the mandatory dress code that has been enforced since 1983. The party also calls for repealing the law requiring mandatory hijabs for women in public, Voice of America News (VOA News) reported.

It also requested that an “impartial commission” investigate the circumstances surrounding Amini’s death, per VOA News.

What are the pro-government protests about in Iran?

Amidst the anti-government demonstrations, pro-government rallies have counterprotested gathering “in a show of support for authorities,” The Associated Press reported.

Pro-government demonstrators wave Iranian flags during their rally condemning recent anti-government protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the nation’s morality police, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. | AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

The counterprotestors waved Iranian flags and “chanted against America and Israel.” The group appears to “... blame the latest unrest on hostile foreign countries,” per The Associated Press.

The government is continuing to block or disrupt internet access for citizens, especially on WhatsApp and Instagram, according to The New York Times.

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