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Zan. Zendegi. Azadi. — Women. Life. Freedom.: The One-Year Anniversary of the Death of Mahsa (“Jina”) Amini

Javaid Rehman, Gissou Nia, Omid Shams, Delissa A. Ridgway, and Mary L. Smith

A September 22, 2023 online presentation of the American Bar Association's International Law Section International Criminal Law Committee. September 16, 2022 marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa “Jina” Amini, the young Kurdish-Iranian woman who died under suspicious circumstances in the custody of Tehran’s “morality police,” who charged that she was improperly wearing her hijab. Amini’s death sparked massive, nationwide, women- and youth-led protests that continue to this day and now threaten the very foundations of Iran’s brutal, oppressive theocracy. In an effort to put down the uprising, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s forces targeted unarmed protesters with gratuitous, barbaric violence – frequently, lethal force. Hundreds have been killed, including dozens of children as young as seven. Untold thousands more have suffered grievous injuries. In addition, tens of thousands have been arrested and imprisoned – including dozens of lawyers who are being prosecuted solely because of their work representing protesters. Some protesters already have been executed. Remarkably, the protesters continue to persevere. Here, we honor the memory of Jina Amini, to take stock of the protests at the one-year mark, to demonstrate solidarity with our Iranian lawyer colleagues, and to pay tribute to the legions of protesters who are risking their very lives and their liberty in their quest for democracy, freedom, justice, and the rule of law. In the words of the protesters' rallying cry: Zan. Zendegi. Azadi. — Women. Life. Freedom.