An Iranian women’s basketball team has defied the regime and released this photograph showing none of them wearing a hijab, in solidarity with protesters standing up for their rights all over the country.
The head coach of the Canco basketball team, Farzaneh Jamami, posted the photograph on Instagram and captioned it “Woman, Life, Freedom”.
The three words have become a defining slogan for the ongoing protests in Teheran and in cities all over the country.
The photograph shows the team gathered on a basketball court and wearing red sports gear. They can be seen smiling to the camera, with none of them wearing a hijab, despite this being mandatory under current Iranian law.
Jamami also said in the caption: “Teach your daughter that such things as gender roles are nothing but nonsense. Teach them you are valuable and irreplaceable. If you’re told otherwise, don’t believe it.”
She added: “Stand up, hold your head high and show them what you got! Tell them you are powerful and capable. You are a woman of freedom.”
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad also posted the photograph on Twitter and said: “Another cultural earthquake. Iranian female basketball team removed their hijab and posted their unveiled photo on Instagram to protest against the main pillar of a gender apartheid regime. They published the photo with the slogan; Woman Life Freedom.”
Iranian forces have been cracking down on waves of civil disorder following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, who was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by morality police, accused of violating hijab rules on 13th September.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in the hospital before succumbing in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Independent Iranian media have claimed that Mahsa’s medical records showing her history of heart disease were faked by the Iranian government.
Numbers differ regarding how many people have been killed since the protests began.
The ongoing protests have so far claimed at least 378 lives, including 47 children, and injured at least 1,160, according to independent estimates.
It is also understood that over 17,000 people have so far been arrested.