The Iranians do not take off despite the repression

The protest movement that has shaken Iran for more than a month and a half continues unabated despite increasing repression and the start of trials of those arrested, some of whom face the death penalty.

The protests, unprecedented in scale and nature since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and described as riots by Iranian authorities, were sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini.

This 22-year-old Iranian Kurd had been arrested three days earlier by the morality police, who accused her of having violated the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic, imposing in particular the wearing of the veil in public.

Authorities last week warned protesters it was time to get off the streets, but protests continue unabated, with rallies in residential areas, universities and on major avenues.

According to the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Norway, 160 people have been killed in the crackdown across the country and 93 others in separate unrest in Zahedan, in the province of Sistan-Balochistan (southeast).

Each mourning ceremony, organized according to tradition on the 40th day following a death, is likely to turn into a demonstration against power.

In the Ekbatan district of Tehran, residents took up slogans such as “Death to the dictator” on Monday evening in the face of security forces who used stun grenades, according to images broadcast in particular by the online media 1500tasvir .

Demonstrator beaten

This media also published a video, presented as showing medical students demonstrating in Tabriz (north), and chanting: “You are the pervert! in a message to the morality police.

According to IHR, students observed a sit-in at the University of Isfahan (center) on Tuesday. Images on social media showed similar actions at the engineering faculty of Amir Kabir University in Tehran.

The same NGO reported that a large crowd attended a tribute on Tuesday, 40 days after his death, to a protester, Siavash Mahmoudi, killed according to IHR by security forces, at the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery near Tehran.

Students from Beheshti University in Tehran, including bareheaded women, marched chanting “cry out for your rights”, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Video posted on social media showed police in Tehran’s Naziabad district violently beating a protester to the ground, hitting him with a motorbike.

“This shocking video (…) is a terrifying new reminder that the cruelty of Iranian security forces knows no bounds,” Amnesty Iran said.

This is not the first time that the country has been the scene of demonstrations against power. But the current movement has broken taboos.

Images shared on social media showed wall portraits of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini covered in red paint in the northern holy city of Qom.

Young girls and schoolgirls took to the front line, daring to remove and even burn their veils, defying the security forces.

Thousands of people have been arrested, according to human rights activists, with Iranian justice reporting the indictment of a thousand people.

Journalists arrested

The Judicial Authority had indicated on Saturday that the trial of five people, accused of crimes punishable by the death penalty, linked to the demonstrations, had opened in Tehran.

At the first hearing, one of the defendants, Mohammad Ghobadlou, was sentenced to death according to a video of his mother released by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, an NGO based in Washington. This conviction has not been officially confirmed.

At least 46 journalists have been arrested, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Various organizations on Tuesday called for the release of Iranian journalist Vahid Shamsoddinnezhad, residing in France, a month after his arrest in Iranian Kurdistan while working for the Franco-German channel Arte.

Hossein Ronaghi, a free speech advocate and contributor to the US daily Wall Street Journal, arrested shortly after the protests began, is on a “hunger strike and not doing well”, his brother Hassan wrote on Twitter after the activist was able to see his parents.

An Iranian official announced on Tuesday that eight journalists arrested in connection with the recent protests had been released.

Police investigation

After the video widely circulated from Naziabad to Tehran showing police violently beating a protester to the ground, Iranian police opened an investigation.

“A special order was immediately issued to investigate the exact time and location of the incident and identify the offenders,” police said in a statement released by the official Irna news agency.

And to add that “the police absolutely do not approve of violent and unconventional behavior and will treat offenders according to the rules”.

It should be noted that dozens of people, mainly demonstrators but also members of the security forces, were killed during the demonstrations. Hundreds more, including women, have been arrested.

Previous Post Next Post