Press Releases


Anniversary of the death of Jina Mahsa Amini (September 16)

Respect for the courageous resistance of Iranian Kurdish women

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the beginning of the women-led protests in Iran (August 16, 2022), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns not to forget what minority groups have contributed to the struggle for a free and democratic country of Iran. “Out of respect for the role of the Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini and the efforts of the entire Kurdish people, it would be good to use her original Kurdish name – as well as the original Kurdish slogan ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî!’, meaning ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’,” stated Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Correspondent. “The Kurdish women’s call for freedom is directed against tyranny in Iran, in Syria, and in Turkey. The courageous resistance of the Kurdish women against these repressive regimes still deserves our greatest respect.”

In order to suppress the Kurdish identity, the Iranian and other regimes are forcing Kurdish people to use non-Kurdish names. Thus, the Iranian authorities had referred to Jina Amini as Mahsa Amini. “Against this background, it is disrespectful of journalists or politicians in Germany to withhold her name ‘Jina’ in their public statements. This is also true for the slogan ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî’. It should be mentioned in its original Kurdish version, not in the Persian translation,” Sido explained. The first name “Jina” refers to the Kurdish word “jiyan” (“life”), as in the slogan.

Iranian security forces had used excessive violence against the protesters, especially against the people in Kurdistan in the north-west of the country and in Balochistan in the south-east. The Kurdish movement was and still is the spearhead of the democracy movement in Iran. It was the call of the Kurdish parties that had led to the general strike. This is also the reason why the Mullah-regime is using rockets, artillery, and fighter drones to attack Iranian Kurds who managed to find refuge in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to various estimates, the security forces are responsible for the deaths of at least 537 protesters before April 2023. About 25 percent of them were of Kurdish origin. A total number of 576 people were sentenced to death in Iran in 2022. It is hard to say how many of them were killed for political reasons. Also, the exact number of prison inmates is unknown. The number is estimated at 19,262. 

Jina (Mahsa) Amini was born in Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan, which the Kurds refer to as East Kurdistan, on September 21, 1999. On September 13, 2022, she was arrested by the Iranian “morality police” for allegedly wearing “non-Islamic clothing”. She was forced into a police car. What happened then was never independently investigated. She died from severe injuries on September 16, 2022. Her death had led to vigorous protests in all of Iran.