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Iranians Mark Festival Of Fire With More Protests Against Islamic Republic

March 14, 2023
In the capital’s Ekbatan neighborhood, social media footage shows a group of youths setting fire to a banner of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
In the capital’s Ekbatan neighborhood, social media footage shows a group of youths setting fire to a banner of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
A woman waves her headscarf during a protest rally in October. Picture: IranWire
A woman waves her headscarf during a protest rally in October. Picture: IranWire
In the capital’s Ekbatan neighborhood, social media footage shows a group of youths setting fire to a banner of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
In the capital’s Ekbatan neighborhood, social media footage shows a group of youths setting fire to a banner of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Iranians Mark Festival Of Fire With More Protests Against Islamic Republic
Iranians Mark Festival Of Fire With More Protests Against Islamic Republic

Protesters returned to the streets across Iran during Chaharshanbeh Suri, the Persian festival of fire, voicing anger toward the Islamic Republic and reiterating their demands for fundamental changes in the country.

Demonstrators gathered in several areas of Tehran late on March 14 amid increased security presence, chanting slogans against the Islamic Republic's leadership and security forces.

In the capital’s Ekbatan neighborhood, social media footage shows a group of youths setting fire to a banner of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

In another clip, young demonstrators burned the flag of the Islamic Republic while chanting "We don't want the Islamic Republic."

Women demonstrators could also be seen burning their headscarves in protest to the compulsory hibab.

 Protesters in the western Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Saqqez chanted slogans such as "Death to Khamenei," "Woman, Life, Freedom" and "Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Fascist Graveyard," according to videos shared on social media. Security forces fired teargas at protesters in Saqqez. 

Similar scenes were repeated in other cities including Zanjan, Piranshahr, Shahrari, Baneh, Kamiyaran, Marivan, Zahedan, Chabahar and Rasht.

Iranians traditionally commemorate Chaharshanbeh Suri on the last Tuesday night of the Persian calendar year by lighting small fires and jumping over them while making wishes for the upcoming year.

This year’s commemorations come amid more than five months of nationwide anti-government protests triggered by the September 2022 death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of Tehran’s police for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly.

Law enforcement and judicial authorities have warned Iranians that anyone disturbing public order during Chaharshanbe Suri would be dealt with decisively.

The authorities have responded to the woman-led protests with brutal force, killing more than 520 demonstrators and illegally detaining over 20,000, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

 

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