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Brazil women’s World Cup team pay tribute to Iran protesters

Brazil’s team arrived in Australia on Wednesday for the FIFA women’s World Cup with a message of solidarity with Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets last year over the death of Mahsa Amini.

The Islamic republic was rocked by civil unrest after the death in custody of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, in September following her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

The Brazilian footballers disembarked in Brisbane from a plane with the statement, “NO WOMAN SHOULD BE FORCED TO COVER HER HEAD”, painted on its fuselage.

The show of support comes after FIFA unveiled eight armbands last week highlighting social causes, including gender equality and ending violence against women, which team captains can wear at the tournament.

Rights groups have accused Tehran of increasing the use of the death penalty to spread fear in the wake of the protest movement that began after Amini’s death.

Iran has hanged at least 354 people in the first six months of this year, Norway-based Iran Human Rights said Monday, a pace of executions much higher than in 2022.

Footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani is among dozens of Iranians sentenced to years in prison over the largely peaceful protests, which have been seen as the biggest challenge to the government since the 1979 revolution.

The Brazilian women’s team, who are in Group F with France, Jamaica and Panama, will start their World Cup campaign against Panama in Adelaide on July 24.

The tournament is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand and begins on July 20.

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