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Hey Ayatollah! Leave 'em kids alone!

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

The death of Jina Amini (#MahsaAmini) has sparked a strong wave of protests across Iran and the world. These have been accompanied by an outpouring of support on the internet, where people have expressed what Jina's death means for Iran, the Kurdish people, and women everywhere.⁣

Shervin Hajipour, an Iranian musician, combined tweets from multiple users to create a song titled "Baraye." The song, released on Instagram and a video featuring Shervin himself and the tweets that make up the lyrics, garnered 40 million views in less than two days. Yet, despite his appreciation, the musician was, unfortunately—and unjustly—arrested following this public show of support for the antiregime protests, much to national and international outcry.⁣

In an 8-tweet thread, Karim Sadjadpour (TW: @ksadjadpour), senior fellow and Iranian-American policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, calls Shervin's song an anthem and explains some of the references made in the original tweets. This is the case of a picture of Hamed Esmaeilion and his daughter Reera, a 9-year-old girl who died along with his mother when their plane was shot down while flying over Tehran by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps using two surface-to-air missiles. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, reported that "Iranian authorities committed multiple violations of human rights and international law in the leadup and aftermath of the downing of Flight 752."⁣

Thus, Shervin Hajipour's "Baraye" encapsulates a long history of tragedies and violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime. This is especially true regarding Iranian youth—which even prompted Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to tweet, "HEY AYATOLLAH LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE !!!" about the band's iconic protest song "Another Brick in the Wall."⁣

Karim Sadjadpour rightly concludes his thread by stating that "[n]o matter what happens to the protests[,] it's worth noting the most viral song in Iran's history"⁣

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