The New York TimesThe New York Times

'They have nothing to lose': Why young Iranians are rising up once again

By Vivian Yee and Farnaz Fassihi

24 Sep 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The New York Times explains why the current protests in Iran are different from past movements—showing how deep grievances now run across a large cross section of Iranian society.

The 22-year-old woman emerged from the Tehran subway, her dark hair covered with a black headscarf and the lines of her body obscured by loose clothing, when the capital city’s Guidance Patrol spotted her. They were members of Iran’s notorious morality police, enforcers of the conservative Islamic dress and behavior rules that have governed daily life for Iranians since the 1979 revolution, and newly energized under a hard-line president who took office last year.

By their standards, Mahsa Amini was improperly dressed, which could mean something as simple as a wisp of hair protruding from her headscarf. They put her in a van and drove her away to a detention center, where she was to undergo reeducation. Three days later, on Sept. 16, she was dead.

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