Hadis Najafi, young Iranian woman, symbol of protests after viral video, killed

Newsweek and several international news outlets have reported that the 20-year old, protesting against the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, has been reportedly killed by Iranian security forces during demonstrations in the city of Karaj, near Tehran

Iran protest

Even as democratic rights individuals and groups world over celebrated the protest art from Iran, with powerful images of women showing their long hair chained behind oppressive imagery, the blonde hair of Najafi appeared uncovered in a clip that went viral on social media. Did this courageous protest cost her life?

On Sunday, Iranian journalist Farzad Seifikaran reported that Najafi Hadis was killed on Wednesday in the city of Karaj after being shot multiple times by security personnel in the face and neck. Iranian activists stated that Najafi was the woman tying her hair in a viral video as she got ready to participate in anti-government protests. By untying her hair in the face of the state, a simple yet powerful gesture, she was making a huge statement against that same law that had led to the death of 22-year-old Amini, a Kurdish woman who died of fatal injuries reportedly inflicted while in custody. Amini had been previously been detained by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” for wearing the hijab “inappropriately.”

The powerful image of this young protester had showed the feisty young woman facing Iranian police without wearing a veil, something which is forbidden by law in Iran. Since 1983, four years after the 1979 Islamic revolution wearing the hijab in public has been made compulsory for women in the country, never mind their faith or nationality. Najafi and dozens of other, like many other Iranian women had joined the street-wide protests, facing the Iranian police with her hair uncovered, and was captured on camera tying them up with a rubber band. Over past weeks powerful art protests have emerged out of Iran. 





According to Amnesty International, at least 21 people–including three children—had been killed by security forces on the night of September 21. At least 41 people have now been killed in total, according to a death toll given by Iran’s state television on Sunday, though official numbers have not yet been released.

Among those killed, there’s Najafi.


 It was Amini’s death that triggered the outrage of tens of thousands of people across Iran and has seen many take to the streets of several cities. For the past ten days or so, outrage and protests have swept the country, with demonstrators facing a violent response by police and authorities. A unique aspect of the protests has been women who have been the core and pivot of the demonstrations in Iran, with many burning their veils and cutting their hair in protest.

20-year-old Hadis Najafi was killed by six gunshots during protests in Iran. In this photo, women and men chant slogans as they march in a pro-hijab rally in Iran’s capital Tehran on September 23, 2022. STR/AFP via Getty Images

Even as protests swept the country, the present President, Ebrahim Raisi was quoted by state media on Saturday saying that the country must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity.” Thereafter, in many cities, including the capital, security forces responded to the protests by opening fire against demonstrators.

habib Khan 

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad reported that the 20-year-old woman was killed after being hit by six bullets in the city of Karaj, according to what Najafi’s sister told her. The reporter, who did not specify the date of Najafi’s death, described the news as “heartbreaking.”


“Hadis Najafi 21 Yr old girl must become another symbol like #MahsaAmini, because she didn’t keep silent in the face of tyranny. She got killed for the crime of protesting the brutal death of Mahsa. I call on world to be the voice of #HadisNajafi too. A true hero,” Alinejad wrote on Twitter.

The journalist shared a clip from the Najafi’s funeral and said she was “a kind hearted girl and loved dancing.”



On Sunday, September 25, it was reported that Anonymous, the international hacktivist collective known for its several cyber attacks against governments and government institutions and agencies, hacked the database of Iran’s Supreme Audit Court and released the data of all members of the Iranian Parliament, including their phone numbers. 

Majid Sadeghpour, a political director and member of The Organization of Iranian-American Communities, said, “People of Iran are in the process of another revolution, [as] the regime has been declining for years and now is literally falling. We call on the international community to cut ties with this regime and instead support the Iranian people and their [organized] resistance.”


“IMSD strongly condemns the repressive Iranian regime, questions the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy in India”



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