Source The Washington Institute
Media www.rajawalisiber.com – In September 2022, the death of a young Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of Iran’s so-called Morality Police sparked an unprecedented wave of protests in which huge numbers of brave women and men spoke out against the mandatory wearing of the hijab headscarf and the theocratic regime that enforced it, often brutally. Thousands of demonstrators were arrested in the harsh crackdown that followed, with many remaining in prison one year later. And now the regime is preemptively arresting activists around the country out of concern for renewed protests on the anniversary of Amini’s death.
How did the mass protests change Iran? What is the next stage of popular opposition to the Islamic regime? And what role do protesters hope the United States and other outside governments will play in advancing their pursuit of freedom, justice, and change? Iranian-born journalist and activist Masih Alinejad has long been at the forefront of such change, whether as a crusading reporter exposing government corruption or as the founder of the online “My Stealthy Freedom” movement, which opposes the mandatory hijab law. Exiled from her native country, she has continued to provide a powerful voice and effective platform for protest from her home in America.
For her courageous activism, Alinejad has been targeted twice for kidnap or assassination by the Iranian regime. In 2022, The Washington Institute conferred upon her its prestigious Scholar-Statesman Award. To mark one year since Amini’s death and the outbreak of what some anti-regime activists have called an “evolution” in protests, the Institute’s Segal Executive Director, Robert Satloff, was pleased to host a live conversation with Alinejad on the status of Iran’s protest movement and its prospects for the future.