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Protests Erupt Across Iran Ahead of Amini Anniversary

September 16, 2023
2 min read
In many districts of Tehran protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to the dictator!” and “Woman, Life, Freedom!” Some gathered on the roofs of residential buildings or stood on their balconies
In many districts of Tehran protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to the dictator!” and “Woman, Life, Freedom!” Some gathered on the roofs of residential buildings or stood on their balconies

Protests erupted in numerous Iranian cities yesterday evening as the nation prepared to mark the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in custody today.

The 22-year-old had been arrested for allegedly not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards. Eyewitnesses said she was severely beaten.

In many districts of Tehran protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to the dictator!” and “Woman, Life, Freedom!” Some gathered on the roofs of residential buildings or stood on their balconies. 

Meanwhile, in several western Kurdish towns, people set up roadblocks and honked their car horns. In western Saqqez, Amini’s home town, amid massive security presence, Amini's family visited her grave.

In Karaj, near the capital, protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei!” and “Death to the dictator!” Similar slogans were chanted in Shiraz in the southwest of the country.

Human rights website Hengaw reported that despite extensive security deployments in the provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam and West Azarbaijan, “protest gatherings” took place in Abdanan, Kermanshah, Marivan, Sanandaj and Baneh on Friday evening.

Protesters lit fires in some areas of Marivan in northwestern Iran and chanted slogans.

In Abdanan, a city in Ilam province, a group of protesters set fires in the streets. Piranshahr in West Azerbaijan witnessed similar scenes as people gathered to commemorate Amini's anniversary by sounding their horns and building protest roadblocks.

In the city of Mahabad, also in West Azerbaijan, protesters played revolutionary songs from the loudspeakers of several mosques.

Amini’s relatives went to Aichi cemetery on Friday evening with helicopters hovering over their heads. Military personnel and police officers were stationed throughout the area. 

A massive presence of armed security forces was also reported around Amini’s family home in Saqqez. 

According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network there was a massive deployment of police special forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps troops in western cities.

Videos shared on social media showed a large number of anti-riot vehicles and motorcycle units stationed on Kermanshah’s Azadi Square.

The increased security measures in Iran’s western regions have raised concerns about potential clashes between protesters and security forces on the anniversary of Amini’s death today.

The tragedy sparked months of protests by people demanding economic, social and political changes in the country. 

More than 500 people were killed, including dozens of children, and over 22,000 others were unlawfully detained in the state crackdown on the protest movement, activists say.

Following unfair trials the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

 

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