Iran defender Majid Hosseini sends support for protests

Iranian international footballer Majid Hosseini expressed solidarity Wednesday with the women-led protests that erupted nearly two weeks ago, reposting a message calling on the police to put down their guns. Hosseini, a defender who plays for Turkey’s top division side Kayserispor, reposted a cartoon on Instagram showing a woman with flowing hair walking up to an anti-riot policeman and taking off his helmet.

“Put down your gun and let this murderous demon come out of your body,” the woman tells the policeman in Farsi. “If God gave life, why should you take it?” Hosseini joins a growing list of Iranian footballers and cultural figures, some based abroad, who are taking to social media to condemn the deadly police crackdown.

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Dozens of people have been killed since demonstrations erupted when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died after being arrested in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic’s strict rules on hijab headscarves and modest clothing.

Iran’s national football team is being dogged with rumours of a split between players who support the protests and those still echoing the criticism published in pro-government media. Iran will be appearing at their sixth World Cup finals in Qatar this year. Hosseini, 26, has played for the national team since 2018, when he also joined Turkey’s top-tier side Trabzonspor, before moving to Kayserispor last year.

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