Since the death of the 22-year-old Kurd was confirmed on September 16, angry Iranians have taken to the streets and demonstrated against the authorities. Hundreds of people were arrested and on Monday at least 41 people, on both sides of the conflict, were killed in the clashes, according to official figures.
Other sources claim that the actual death toll is much higher. According to the exile organization Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo, at least 76 people were killed.
– We urge the international community to take action to end the killing and torture of protesters in Iran, says IHR leader Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.
Despite the authorities’ message that the demonstrations must be severely suppressed, the demonstrations have not diminished. On Sunday, Iran’s justice chief promised authorities would respond decisively to the unrest in the country. Only a few hours later, protesters took to the streets again, for the tenth consecutive night in several places in the country.
Accused of lying
Amini was reportedly arrested because her headscarf was too loose. Iranian police claimed the 22-year-old died of heart problems, but eyewitnesses said Amini was beaten by police and activists claim she died of head injuries.
Amini’s father refuted the claim that his daughter had heart problems and publicly stated that authorities were lying about the cause of death.
Sunday’s protests took place in several cities, including the million-dollar cities of Tabriz and Shiraz, where video footage shows women taking off their headscarves to protest authorities.
Among the demonstrators were also women who burned their hijabs and cut their hair while others danced around large fires chanting “zan, zendengi, azadi” which means “woman, life, freedom”. This slogan is also reproduced worldwide on posters and leaflets.
Closed social networks
Video of the protesters, verified by the AFP news agency, shows students tearing down a photo of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, outside a university in the northern province of Mazanderan.
Iranian authorities are trying to control the flow of information in the country and shut down several internet news-sharing platforms on Sunday. London-based service NetBlocks, which oversees internet connections around the world, reported that WhatsApp, Instagram and Skype were all down.
This follows services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok and Telegram which have already been shut down.
Alongside the protests, authorities staged large counter-demonstrations to quell the protests and show the popularity of the ruling elite in the country, writes AlJazeera.
In the mat
Along with the protests inside Iran, condemnation of the Iranian regime is also increasing in several other places around the world.
On Saturday, Norway’s ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the mat by Iran’s Foreign Ministry after Speaker of Parliament Masud Gharahkhani (Ap) posted several social media posts in which he supported the protesters.
– I was born in Tehran. Norway is my country. Every day I am grateful to live in a country founded on democracy, freedom, human rights and freedom of expression. These are the same values young people are fighting for in Iran, Gharahkhani says of the messages he posted.
According to Reuters, the Norwegian ambassador was summoned because Iranian authorities believe that Speaker of Parliament Masud Gharahkhani (Ap) has interfered in Iranian internal affairs.
Britain’s ambassador to Iran has also been summoned, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported on Twitter.
On Sunday, police in Paris and London had to arrest thousands of protesters marching towards Iranian embassies. In Paris, tear gas was used as the roughly 4,000 protesters repeatedly tried to break through barricades near the embassy. In London, several police officers were injured in clashes with agitated protesters.
The arrested journalist
Iranian journalist Nilufar Hamedi, who wrote the first dossier on Mahsa Amini’s death, was arrested last Thursday.
Hamedi works for the Shargh newspaper. The newspaper said that in addition to Hamdi, two other journalists, a photographer and a political activist were arrested in connection with the ongoing protests in the country.
The Moral Police is officially known in Iran as the Gasht-e Ershad or the “Orientation Patrol”. It is responsible for ensuring respect for Islamic morality as described by the country’s religious authorities. Among other things, they involve reporting on the “bad hijab,” a collective term that applies to violations of the country’s strict dress code for women.
Under Sharia, women are required to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing to hide their figure.
There have been protests against Iran’s strict dress code for women since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Nevertheless, foreign media write that today’s protests are the largest in nearly three years. At the time, however, it was outrage over rising fuel prices that sparked tensions in Iranian society. Even then, protests were harshly repelled and several hundred deaths resulted.
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