Thousands of people took to the streets today in Iran responding to a call from the authorities to defend the Islamic headscarf and denounce the “mercenaries” after a week of protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini which had been arrested by the police, and resulted in the death of at least 17 people.
While non-governmental organizations abroad have denounced the “brutal” crackdown on protests in Iran, internet connections are still problematic today, with WhatsApp and Instagram blocked.
Mahsha Amini, 22, from Kurdistan province, was arrested on September 13 in Tehran, where she was visiting with her family, “for wearing inappropriate clothes” by the morality police, a unit tasked with enforcing the country’s strict dress code. . She died three days later in hospital and her death sparked nightly protests in Iran’s main cities including the capital Tehran.
State media reported on Thursday that 17 people had died in the protests, but NGOs such as the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported higher tolls. “Independent imgs speak of 36” deaths, CHRI said on Twitter last night.
“The government responded with live bullets, guns and tear gas, according to videos shared on social media,” CHRI said in a statement.
The Kurdish organization for the defense of human rights Hengaw reports that the security forces opened fire during last night with “”lightweight” weapons against the demonstrators in Osnaviya (northwest) without specifying what weapons they were.
In several cities, protesters clashed with security forces, set fire to police cars and shouted anti-authority slogans, according to media and activists. Police arrested an unspecified number of people, Iranian media reported.
The images that have gone viral on social media are those showing Iranian women setting their headscarves on fire.
In Iran, women are required to cover their hair when in public. The morality police also prohibit women from wearing short coats, above the knee, tight pants and ripped jeans as well as brightly colored clothing, among other things.
Confronted by the protesters, who called the “counter-revolutionaries” “rioters” or “conspirators”, the authorities decided to respond by organizing their own demonstrations after Friday prayers.
Responding to the call of an organization tasked with organizing official demonstrations, thousands of people took to the streets in several Iranian cities, mainly in Tehran, Qom (north) or Isfahan (center).
“The end of the headscarf, this is the policy of the Americans”
In the capital, hundreds of people including women wearing chadors demonstrated holding Islamic Republic flags and banners of support and thanks to the forces of order, according to state television.
“Death to the conspirators”, “The end of the headscarf, this is the policy of the Americans”they were saying some slogans.
The Friday prayer imam called for the protesters to be punished “with the weapon of the law.”
Praising “the efforts and sacrifices of the police”, the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, assured for their part that the recent “conspiracy of the enemy” is “doomed to fail”.
The authorities yesterday spoke of the death of five members of the order forces.
For his part, the head of the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseny-Ezei, warned that “people who caused damage to public and government goods, lied to the police or had connections with foreign espionage agencies” should be treated “without any indulgence”.
After the protests began on the evening of September 16, the authorities restricted access to the internet and, as of yesterday, Wednesday, blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp.
The measure was taken due to “activities through social media by counter-revolutionaries against national security,” according to the Fars news agency.
Source: News Beast