Rage and frustration over the unnecessary death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini allegedly at the hands of Iran’s morality police has led to the fucked up cycle of violence you tend to see in when dictators and despots rule a part of the world. People protest, the government violently cracks down on said protests, so more people protest and get increasingly violent, resulting in harder government crackdowns, and so on.

Protesters want answers for how a previously healthy woman could suddenly collapse, fall into a three-day coma, and die of heart failure after she was picked up on September 13 for violating the country’s hijab law. And as per usual in this fucked up theocratic dictatorship, their requests have been met with bullets, leading the Iran Human Rights organization to estimate that nearly 80 protesters have already been killed by the Iranian state.

Earlier this week, our sister site Metal Injection got in touch with Nikan Siyanor, of the Iranian metal band Confess. Siyanor, as well as his only other bandmate at the time Arash Ilkhani understand first hand the lengths that Iranian officials will go to crack down on anyone stepping out of line. Both men were arrested in November 2015 for a long list of charges including “blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and record label promoting music considered to be Satanic, writing anti-religious lyrics, and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations.” Those charges came with a sentence of more than 14 years in prison and 74 lashes.

Having fled the country in 2017, Siyanor and the rest of his bandmates now make their home in Norway. In a statement provided directly to Metal Injection, Siyanor expressed his sincerest support for the protestors, excoriates the people responsible for Amini’s death, and blames an international community that turns a blind eye to the regime’s constant human rights violations.

“Last week a 22 year old Iranian girl named Mahsa Amini was detained by the morality police in Tehran, and later on that night she went [into a] coma in the police station. With the understanding that we all have from the treatment that they give to young people in places like that, rumours starting to come out that she was somehow beaten up by the cops inside the police van (that they keep and transfer the detainees with). A couple of days late, some [evidence was made] public that this was the case. Her family [has] constantly been saying that she did not have any illness from before [that would cause her to go into a coma].

“The government kept denying the allegations, so people started to protest all over the country and it is getting bigger and bigger as the days go by. Something that is very fascinating about these protests, is that it is being lead by women and men are completely supportive! Which is very moving. The engine of this movement are the youngsters in their 20s and they [aren’t] just protesting the mandatory hijab, but the whole system. More than 70 people have been shot down by the riot police and thousands been arrested and vanished from the streets or their houses so far but none of that is stopping the unarmed protesters.

“We support our people one hundred percent and we are doing whatever we can to [bring] awareness, raise their voices, and gather some support for them. Iranians are alone and empty handed, but their bravery will make some big changes in the near future one way or another! We want everyone around the world to be our voice. The support that was given so far was great but we need to force the big media, politicians to [take] action, not just talk! They are killing unarmed people on the streets and The United Nations [allows] these criminals to use their platform to spread propaganda! This is ridiculous! The Iranian people will never forget this!”

As it currently stands, finding out more information about what’s going on in the country has been made difficult by the fact that the government has cut the country’s connection to the internet. Still, details are trickling out about what’s actually happening, while *Reuters *reports that the regime blames the United States for the ongoing unrest. Siyanor says that’s by design.

“The Internet has been shut down by the government and at best the connection is very weak while the social media platforms are filtered so people hardly get online with proxy! The regime use this method as the ‘Iron Curtain’! Whenever they do that it means they are killing so many people that they do not want the world to see that!”

Ultimately, Siyanor said he’s always known the metal community to be supportive of Iranian protests and the counterculture surrounding the country’s youth. Following Amini’s death, that same sense of community has grown again, he said.

“[The] metal community has been very supportive. It always [has] been. Back in 2016 when we were in jail, everyone showed their support and it was very heart warming to see. So we know the feeling! When you’re alone and oppressed, every single voice counts!

“So far [several high profile metal musicians] have been showing their support during the last week which on the behalf of our people we appreciate it very much. But we need more people to be vocal about this because this community is very powerful like the music that it produces! It can be very inspiring and in Iran there are so many metalheads who listens and follows metal artists on social media. So it can be very helpful.”