Tehran, Sep 17 (EFE).- Protests took place in Iran overnight to mark the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini amid a huge security forces deployment that made multiple arrests.
A woman holding a placard faces off riot against police at a rally marking the first anniversary of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini’s death, in Istanbul, Turkey, 16 September 2023. EFE/EPA/ERDEM SAHIN
The protests took place in cities including Tehran, Mashad, Rasht and especially in the cities of Amini’s home region of Iranian Kurdistan.
Rallies were also held in other cities around the world such as Istanbul, Melbourne, Berlin and Milan. Many showed up to voice support for those in Iran who could not speak out for real fear of retaliation.
Amini, 22, died in custody of the country’s morality police on Sep. 16, 2022 after she was arrested for not wearing her hijab correctly.
Her death sparked the huge protests, which died down after a crackdown by security forces that reportedly caused at least 500 deaths and thousands of arrests. Seven protesters were executed, one of them in public.
Videos published on social media by activists showed small and dispersed protests in some cities, where some shouted “Death to the dictator,” in reference to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and “Women, life, freedom,” the motto of the protests.
In one video from Tehran, two women are seen standing on a platform without hijabs as vehicles honked in support.
In the western city of Nurabad, an attack against security forces took place in which a member of the Basij Islamic militia was killed and three were wounded, the state’s Fars news agency reported.
Iranian opposition supportersshow portraits of victims of Iranian regime as they demonstrate to commemorate first anniversary of the September 2022 Iran Uprising in Brussels, Belgium, 15 September 2023. EFE/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
Saturday night’s protests occurred amid a huge police presence on the streets of cities such as Tehran, where in some areas there were groups of riot police every few meters, and police officers on motorcycles toured the city.
In Saqez, Amini’s Kurdistan hometown, Revolutionary Guard forces were deployed days ahead to prevent protests, according to activists.
There, the authorities on Saturday prevented Amini’s family from holding a ceremony at the Aichi cemetery, where she is buried and where the first hijabs were waved and the first “Women, life, freedom” cries were shouted during her burial.
The authorities reported the arrest of several people who they said intended to cause chaos and collaborate with “hostile media” in three provinces of the country, although they did not indicate the number of those arrested or their identities.
The Revolutionary Guards detained a dual national suspected of “trying to organize unrest and sabotage,” according to the state news agency IRNA reported, among other arrests and crackdowns across the country.
People hold Iranian flags during a rally marking the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death in custody, Reddacliff Place, Brisbane, Australia, 16 September 2023. EFE/EPA/JONO SEARLE AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT
The media did not clarify the nationalities of the detainee. Iran frequently detains citizens with dual American or European nationality and charges them with crimes against national security.
These protests – small signs of discontent – were the most important to occur since May, when new protests took place over the execution of three protesters for crimes allegedly committed during the revolt, after several months of calm in the streets of the Persian country.
Ahead of the anniversary of the young woman’s death, the authorities intensified repression with the arrest of activists, journalists and relatives of those who died in the protests to avoid new signs of dissent. EFE