The Mahsa Amini hashtag has now reached 200 million tweets on Twitter – and it has now even been used by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei.
The rapid increase from 15 million tweets for the hashtag on 27th September, in both Farsi and English, to well over 10 times that number, comes after an increasing number of celebrities posted about the protests currently gripping Iran.
Celebrities have been posting about the protests on Instagram, Twitter and other platforms – now largely inaccessible in Iran after the authorities shut down most of the internet for regular citizens – as the protest movement grows.
And now the Mahsa Amini hashtag has reportedly reached 200 million tweets, according to the London-based Iranian news outlet Iran International.
Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, used the hashtag on Monday, 3rd October saying: “The young girl’s death was a tragic incident that saddened us too. But the right reaction to it wasn’t for some to create insecurity for ppl, burn the Quran, Mosques, banks, & ppl’s cars, & to pull off women’s scarves. These weren’t normal acts. They were planned. #MahsaAmini”
Protests have now been going on for three weeks in the Islamic Republic after Mahsa Amini, 22, was declared brain dead and died in hospital three days after apparently being beaten by Iran’s morality police.
She had been detained for what was described as a ‘re-education class’ after she was arrested next to a metro station in Tehran for failing to adhere to Iran’s strict hijab rules on 13th September.
Hours later she was in hospital with a skull fracture “caused by a direct blow” and internal bleeding, according to hacked CT scans obtained by a London-based news organisation known as Iran International.
Doctors went on to say that Mahsa had blood and fluid in her lungs because she went into a coma soon after receiving a blow to the head, according to the news organisation.
United States National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, wrote in a tweet that Iranian authorities should be held accountable for human rights violations.
Tehran officials reportedly at first said that Mahsa died of a heart attack and went on to say that she suffered from epilepsy, a claim that her father has denied.
All women, including tourists, have had to wear a headscarf in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Mahsa’s death caused outrage around the world and sparked protests in Iran, with the country shutting down parts of the internet in a bid to disrupt the growing protest movement.
A growing list of celebrities have voiced their support for the protests and for Mahsa.
They include former First Lady of the United States and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, British Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, American model Bella Hadid, Hollywood icon Sharon Stone, pop star Justin Bieber, Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain, Kim Kardashian, Turkish singer Melek Mosso, Penelope Cruz, Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, actress Eva Mendes, and the British Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, among others.
(T4 / ends)