Angelina Jolie is one of the most private celebrities, maintaining a low profile on social media for the most part. Now, she’s using the power of her 13.8 million Instagram followers to lend support and demand freedom for Iranian women amid ongoing protests in the country after the death of Mahsa Amini.
Jolie: ‘They Need Freedom To Live And Breathe’
The Maleficent star and social activist posted several photographs of women protesting and cutting their hair in the streets of Iran along with the message, “Respect to the brave, defiant, fearless women of Iran. All those who have survived and resisted for decades, those taking to the streets today, and Masha Amini and all young Iranians like her. Women don’t need their morals policed, their minds re-educated, or their bodies controlled. They need freedom to live and breathe without violence or threats. To the women of Iran, we see you.”
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The final slide in her post read, “Protests in Iran are in their 12th consecutive night. They started in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in morality police custody. Since the protests began, riot police have attacked protestors with brutal force, and more than 70 people have reportedly been killed.”
Fans quickly responded with almost 2.5 million likes and more than 340,000 comments, mostly thanking her for lending her support and shining the spotlight on their cause. “Thank you for being the voice of Iran” one read. “If we don’t protest, the next person could be ourselves. There are many problems with the government, but it has to stop as soon as possible,” another added.
Iran Has Been In Upheaval
Jolie’s post was sparked by Amini’s death while in police custody. Women in Iran have been required to wear hijabs in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought the country’s religious authorities into power. Amini collapsed at a detention center, fell into a coma, and died three days later after having been reportedly beaten on the head. Her death ignited deadly clashes between demonstrators and police, with thousands of women calling for the end of the country’s morality police and restrictive laws.
Angelina Jolie’s reputation as a devoted humanitarian precedes her, and the actress is a key part of multiple efforts regarding conservation, education and women’s rights. She also serves as a Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Her latest efforts to support the women of Iran come as no surprise, and her voice is clearly a powerful tool in the fight for justice.