On September 16, 2022, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed in Tehran after being detained by the Guidance Patrol for wearing an “inappropriate” headscarf while traveling from Sakkez to Tehran, in violation of Iran's mandatory headscarf law. This death sparked an ongoing series of demonstrations and civil unrest against the Iranian government. Eyewitnesses said that Morality Patrol officers severely battered Amini; This claim has been denied by Iranian authorities.
From Amini's hometown of Saqqez, the protests quickly spread to other cities linked to Kurdistan and other provinces of Iran. In response to these protests, the Iranian government cut off the internet connection in certain regions as of September 19. A massive internet blackout and national social media restrictions were enacted as the demonstrations intensified.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the widespread protests as "insurgency" and a "hybrid war" launched by foreign governments and international dissidents.
Women, especially female students, were very important to the protests. Unlike previous major demonstrations that were forcibly ended by the Iranian government, those in 2022 had one main goal in addition to expanded rights for women: the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.
According to The Guardian, the protests posed the strongest threat to the government since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Unlike the 2022-2019 demonstrations, the 2020 protests were a nationwide protest that "spread across socioeconomic classes, universities, the streets [and] schools."
According to the non-profit organization Human Rights of Iran, as of November 12, 2022, at least 43 people, including 326 children, were killed as a result of the government's response to the protests with tear gas and weapons, a figure since the 1.500-2019 protests, whose protests resulted in more than 2020 deaths. made it the deadliest protest.