Iran: Security forces fire on protesters after Mahsa Amini memorial service

Iran: Security forces fire on protesters after Mahsa Amini memorial service

A giant mural depicting men and women carrying the Iranian flag in Valiasr Square on October 25, 2022 in Tehran. (©AFP/STR)

Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters gathered in the city of origin on Wednesday, according to an NGO Mahsa Amini, where thousands of people participated solemn ceremony at the end of the traditional 40 days of mourning.

“Security forces used tear gas and opened fire on people in Zindan Square in Saghez,” Hengaw, a Norwegian Iranian Kurdish rights group, announced on Twitter.

“Woman, Life, Freedom”

A crowd of men and women defied heightened security since morning and chanted “Woman, life, freedom” or “Death to the dictator” around the tomb of the young women at the Aichi cemetery in the city of Saghez. origin Mahsa Amini in Kurdistan in western Iran, according to videos posted on social media.

The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran, where she was visiting her younger brother, by morality police who accused her of violates the dress code of the Islamic Republic, imposing in particular the wearing of the veil for women.

It was triggered by his death an unprecedented wave of protests for a period of three years that continues throughout Iran. Young women and schoolgirls made it to the front lines, many with bare hair, burned their veils and defied the security forces.

Wednesday, the 40th day since Mahsa Amini’s death, marked the end of traditional mourning in Iran.

As of Tuesday evening, the authorities strengthened their system in Saghez and deployed forces in the central square. Access to the city would also be blocked.

According to human rights activists, security forces warned the young woman’s parents against holding a memorial service at her grave, going so far as to endanger “the life of their son”.

“Year of Blood”

Despite this, worshipers began arriving at the cemetery early on Wednesday, where, according to Iran’s Fars news agency, about 2000 people gathered together.

However, images posted online by activists and human rights defenders showed huge crowds of people in cars and motorbikes walking through fields and roads, or even crossing a river.

The crowd clapped, shouted, honked and stormed the main road connecting Saghez to a cemetery eight kilometers away, according to pictures posted online by Hengaw, which the NGO said. AFP they checked.

“This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali will be overthrown,” the group shouted in a video verified by AFP, referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Kurdistan, Kurdistan, the graveyard of fascists,” another group chanted in a video shared on Twitter that AFP cannot be immediately verified.

In several Kurdistan cities, “Sanandaj, Saghez, Divandarreh, Marivan and Kamyaran, the strikes are being widely observed,” Hengaw said. Likewise in Javanrud and Ravansar, in the province of Kermanshah (west).

Protesters take part in a rally in solidarity with the Iranian protest movement, on October 22, 2022, in Washington.
Protesters take part in a rally in solidarity with the Iranian protest movement, on October 22, 2022, in Washington. (©AFP/Archives/OLIVIER DOULIERY)

New events

According to Hengawa, two figures of Iranian football, legendary striker Ali Daei and goalkeeper Hamed Lak, traveled to Saghez for the 40th day of mourning.

According to Hengawa, the two stayed at the Kurd Hotel, but “were transferred to a government guesthouse (…) under the supervision of security forces.”

Ali Daei was previously questioned for statements made online in support of the movement.

The Hammihan daily quoted Kurdistan Governor Esmail Zarei Koosh as saying that Ali Daei and other celebrities were in Tehran and that “everything is calm in Saghez”.

“The enemy and its media (…) are trying to use the 40th day of Mahsa Amini’s death as a pretext to rekindle tensions, but fortunately the situation in the province is completely stable,” the governor was quoted as saying by the official Irna agency. . He denied that the roads were blocked.

According to Hengawa, most of the city was “empty” on Wednesday, with many residents heading to the cemetery.

New protests elsewhere

New protests are taking place elsewhere in Iran, including at universities in Tehran, Mashhad in the northeast and Ahvaz in the southwest, according to online media outlet 1500tasvir, which reports human rights abuses attributed to security forces.

At least the crackdown on the protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death is over 141 deadincluding children, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR).

According to Amnesty International, 23 children were killed in the crackdown across the country, according to the IHR, 29 children.

Iran on Wednesday announced sanctions against individuals, institutions and media in the European Union in response to the crackdown Brussels imposed on Iran’s leaders and morality police over the crackdown.

Source: © 2022 AFP

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