Swedish lawmaker Abir Al-Sahlani cuts her hair as she delivers a speech during EU debate on Iran protests © European Union/Handout via REUTERS
In recent weeks, protesters in Iran—and subsequently all over the world—have been cutting off a lock of hair to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.
Actresses, politicians, and foreign ministers are among groups of women who have been protesting on wide scales, urging the world to step up in solidarity with Iranian women.
Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women
A Swedish member of the European Parliament lopped off her hair during a speech in the EU assembly in solidarity with anti-government demonstrations in Iran ignited by the death in morality police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
“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 in the parliament in Strasbourg, France.
Then, taking a pair of scissors, she said “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi”—Kurdish for “Woman, Life, Freedom”—as she snipped off her ponytail.
Leading French actresses including Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert have also cut locks of hair in protest over Amini’s death after she was arrested in Tehran on Sept. 13 for “inappropriate attire.”
Iran’s clerical rulers have been grappling with the biggest nationwide unrest in years since her death and protests have spread abroad including London, Paris, Rome and Madrid in solidarity with Iranian demonstrators.
Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche cut hair in solidarity with Iranian protesters
Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche have shown solidarity with Iranian protesters by filming themselves cutting off pieces of their hair.
The Oscar-winning actresses joined the movement by appearing in a video that was released via the Instagram account @soutienfemmesiran, which translates to “support women in Iran.”
The video opens with Binoche grabbing a large, thick chunk of her hair above her head and saying “for freedom” as she hacks through her locks with scissors and brandishes the hair in front of the camera. The montage then cuts to Inception star Marion making the front section of her hair much shorter than the rest.
The clip also features appearances from Isabelle Huppert, Charlotte Rampling, and Charlotte Gainsbourg—who is seen cutting a lock of her mother Jane Birkin’s hair before doing her own.
Cotillard shared the video on her own Instagram account with the caption, “For the courageous women and men of Iran who are changing the world at this very moment, fighting for freedom. We stand by you.”
Meanwhile, Binoche wrote on her page, “In SOLIDARITY for FREEDOM RIGHTS for IRANIAN WOMEN and MEN.”
Belgian foreign minister cuts hair in parliament in support of Iranian women
Belgium’s foreign minister and two other lawmakers cut their hair in parliament. Hadja Lahbib snipped off a lock of her hair, following the example of deputy Darya Safai.
Iranian-born Safai had taken scissors to hers—to applause from other lawmakers—after asking the minister about Belgium’s response to a crackdown on widespread protests inside Iran.
A third lawmaker, Goedele Liekens, also cut her hair.
Lahbib, born in Belgium to Algerian parents, told parliament that her government would ask the European Union to impose sanctions against architects of the crackdown when the bloc’s foreign ministers meet.
Iran’s clerical rulers have been battling to contain the most widespread unrest in years since Amini’s death, and protests have spread to many major cities abroad including London, Paris, Rome and Madrid.
A Swedish member of the European Parliament, Abir Al-Sahlani, also cut off part of her hair during a speech in the EU assembly.