Angelina Jolie Says Iranian Women “Need Freedom to Live” as Mahsa Amini Protests Continue

Angelina Jolie is bringing attention to the protests going on in Iran after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman died. Amini died on September 16 in Iran, where she had been held by the country’s Morality Police because she was wearing her hijab too loosely, according to the police.

After Amini died, there were protests and women are still burning their hijabs or cutting their hair to show their anger.

The Academy Award winner posted a few photos she took on the streets of Iran on Instagram on Wednesday. She did this to bring attention to the current situation in the Middle East.

“Respect to the brave, defiant, fearless women of Iran,” Jolie wrote in the caption of her post. “All those who have survived and resisted for decades, those taking to the streets today and Mahsa Amini and all young Iranians like her.”

“Women don’t need their morals policed, their minds re-educated, or their bodies controlled. They need freedom to live and breathe without violence or threats,” Jolie, 47, continued. “To the women of Iran, we see you #WomanLifeFreedom #MahsaAmini.”

Jolie also wrote a short statement about the conflict in the country that was part of the post. “Protests in Iran are in their 12th consecutive night,” the slide read. “They started in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in morality police custody.”

“Since the protests began, riot police have attacked protestors with brutal force and more than 70 people have reportedly been killed,” it added. Iran Human Rights said on Monday that at least 76 protesters, including at least six women and four children have been killed by security forces since Amini’s death.

While the protests are still going on, Reuters said that access to social media sites like Instagram and WhatsApp has been limited in Iran.

Based on what the U.S. Treasury Department, Amini was taken to the hospital in a coma the same day she was detained for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. Two days later, she died from internal injuries.

State Department Secretary Antony Blinken said last week that the U.S. has put sanctions on Iran’s Morality Police and “senior security officials who have committed serious human rights abuses” in response to Amini’s death and other violations of human rights in Iran.

As Blinken said in his statement, Iran’s Morality Police is part of the country’s Law Enforcement Forces and “arrests women for wearing “inappropriate” hijab and enforces other restrictions on freedom of expression.”

The Treasury Department says that the sanctions will go after “seven senior leaders of Iran’s security organizations,” including the Morality Police, Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Army’s Ground Forces, Basij Resistance Forces and Law Enforcement Forces.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that these officials are in charge of groups that often use violence against peaceful protesters, members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists and members of the Iranian Baha’i community.

Meanwhile, the director of Iran Human Rights, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam put out a statement Monday via the organization’s website, sharing, “The risk of torture and ill-treatment of protesters is serious and the use of live ammunition against protesters is an international crime.”

“We call on the international community to decisively and unitedly take practical steps to stop the killing and torture of protesters,” he continued. “The world must defend the Iranian people’s demands for their fundamental rights.”

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