Skip to main content

Mahsa Amini: Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza releases song in support of Iran protests

Song 'Woman Life Freedom' references Kurdish slogan that has become the rallying cry of Iranian protests
Sevdaliza has spoken up about several causes through her music (Wikimedia Commons/Tore Sætre)
Sevdaliza has spoken up about several causes through her music (Wikimedia Commons/Tore Sætre)

Iranian-Dutch singer Sevda Alizadeh, known by her stage name Sevdaliza, has released a song titled Woman Life Freedom, after the popular slogan that has become the rallying cry of protests in Iran following the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.

“A woman without freedom is like a flower without soil. For all women who gave their life so that we could hope of freedom, I salute you,” the 35-year-old songwriter known for her avant-garde musical style wrote in an Instagram post on Friday.

“I wrote a song for oppressed women around the world,” she said in another post. “I stand proud as an Iranian woman and I am supporting the fight of my sisters who shed their blood, hair, hearts, and brains to give us all the hope that one day, we will be free.”

Using Ai Visuals by artist aiplague, Sevdaliza showcases women in an eclectic style that merges modernity and the fluidity of its human subjects.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


The women in the video are distorted to create a grotesque display of emotions against the backdrop of Sevda’s melancholic voice paired with haunting screams. 

“We must continue to speak up and fight institutions that condone oppression, violence, and murder. We must face the people that deny the dignity and respect for all of us women. We are so tired of being told how to be, what to be,” she said in a statement about the song.

This is not the first time the musician has spoken up about women’s rights through her songs. During Women’s History Month in 2021, Sevdaliza released the music video to her song Darkest Hour, which featured footage of women of different backgrounds, ages, and professions from around the world.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, she collaborated with directors Sarah Benjamin and An Simin, spending months compiling videos of women from every walk of life.

She has also commented on politics through her artistic work, such as in her first Persian song Bebin, written in response to the United States Executive Order 13769 – more commonly known as the "Trump travel ban". 

“In protest of the inhumane political climate, I could not rest my head in privilege. I wrote Bebin in Farsi, to solidify. I stand strong with love,” she wrote as an explanation. 

Celebrity support of Iran protests

The death of Amini has gained widespread attention and sparked demonstrations in Iran and around the globe, with many protesting the Iranian government and calling for an end to the country’s “morality police" who had arrested the young woman days before her death for allegedly wearing her hijab in an improper manner.

While the state coroner said she died due to illness, many dispute this conclusion, saying that she was tortured and beaten to death.

Kurds unite Iranian protest movement through 'Women, life, freedom' slogan
Read More »

Sevdaliza, who was born in Iran and moved to the Netherlands as a child, says her latest song is written in protest of “systematic means of forcing women into obedience through violence and intimidation” in Iran. 

Other celebrities that have shown solidarity with Iranians include Angelina Jolie, Bella Hadid, Padma Lakshmi, Maziyar Jobrani, and many others. 

The Iranian government has cracked down on protests, and rights groups say that at least 185 people, including children, have been killed in the demonstrations.

Moreover, an Associated Press tally of reports in state-run and state-linked media shows that there have been at least 1,900 arrests, some of which include prominent celebrities, activists, and journalists. 

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.