2023 Topical Reporting: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Identity, Large Newsroom finalist

The Protests That Shook Iran’s Clerical System

About the Project

Last September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in a hospital in Tehran after being detained by the morality police for allegedly violating the country’s Islamic dress code. Her death outraged Iranians, particularly women, who took to the streets in a wave of protests that turned into the most serious challenge in decades to Iran’s clerical establishment. The regime used force to repress the protests, killing more than 500 people, including some 70 children, according to rights groups. Six months after Amini’s death, a team of journalists in RFE/RL”s Persian language service (Radio Farda) and the Central Newsroom produced this powerful interactive. It identifies by name more than 300 of the protesters who were killed and explains why the demonstrations have been so significant. The piece brings home the scale and tragedy of what happened in the wake of Amini’s death.