Swedish MEP cuts off hair during speech in support of Iranian women

Swedish MEP cuts off hair during speech in support of Iranian women
Credit: Screenshot of Abir Al-Sahlani's Twitter account

Swedish MEP Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew) has cut off her hair in support of anti-government protests in Iran during a speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

After the death of 22-year-old Mhasa Amini at the hands of the morality police, widespread protests against the repression of women under the Iranian regime have engulfed the country but also received widespread international attention.

"Until Iran is free, our fury will be bigger than the oppressors. Until the women of Iran are free we are going to stand with you," Iraqi-born Abir Al-Sahlani said during a European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

(Translation of tweet from Swedish: The tradition to cut off your hair in protest is thousand years old. It shows that anger is stronger than the oppressor’s power. Iran’s women have had enough. The EU should show the same courage and support them fully.)

She then took a pair of scissors and cut off her hair, saying  "Jin, Jiyan, Azadi" - Kurdish for 'Woman, Life, Freedom'.

"I am so damn tired old guys' mumbling when it comes to women's rights. I did it to show that the voices of Iranian women are being heard after all," said Abir Al-Sahlani of the liberal Renew Europe Group.

Al-Sahlani spoke of the courage Iranian women showed during the protests, lambasting EU Foreign Chief Josep Borrell for not drawing more attention to the issue.

"This courage wasn't shown by you, Josep Borrell, when you didn't take the opportunity at the UN General Assembly to make the case for the women of Iran."

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Al-Sahlani told Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet that Borell was speechless after the speech, while many others came forward to hug her afterward.

Leading French actors Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, and Isabelle Huppert also cut off their hair in a show of support for women in Iran.

Iran continues to be rocked by protests across the country. Protests have taken place in several cities globally, including Brussels, as a sign of solidarity with anti-government protestors.


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