Iranian protests spread after Mahsa Amini’s death, social video shows

Anger is spreading across the country after Mahsa Amini, 22, dies in ‘morality police’ custody

The protests began outside a Tehran hospital, where a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died last week after she was detained by the “morality police” for serious violations of the country’s strict rules on women’s dress. By Tuesday, protests were unfolding across the country, filled with grief, anger and contempt. Many were led by women who burned their turbans, cut their hair and chanted “death to the dictator”.

Anger over many things simultaneously fuels the intensity of the protests: accusations that Amini was beaten in custody, then fell and fell into a coma; Iran led by ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi The priorities of the government, who strictly enforced the dress code and empowered the hateful moral police at a time when the economy is generally suffering; and the suffering of the family of Amini, an ethnic Kurd from rural Iran, who are in pain and shock. The expression resonated across the country.

Her family said Amini had no health problems to explain her death, and they could not understand how she attracted police interest. “Even a 60-year-old woman is not covered up like Mahsa,” her father, Amjad Amini, told Iranian news media.

Human rights groups said at least seven people were killed in the demonstrations, the largest since protests erupted in Iran in 2019 over cuts to fuel subsidies. During these protests, like the ones that are shaking the country now, the authorities responded by cutting off internet service and in some cases resorting to deadly force, including live ammunition.

Two videos from the Kurdish cities of Abdanan and Kamyayan show footage of protests that erupted in Iran on September 9. 17. (Video: Top: Associated Press Rudaw TV; Bottom: Twitter)

Video showed protesters, some speaking Kurdish, taking to the streets in Kamiyaran and Abu Danan, near the Iran-Iraq border. Many of the protests were centered in the west, where Amini’s family came from impoverished Kurdish regions. The Kurds – who speak their own language, have a unique cultural identity and are mostly Sunni Muslims in the Shia-majority country – have complained for decades of central government neglect.

On September 9, in a video posted online, protests, some violent, spread to the religious cities of Qom and Mashhad in Iran. 20. (Video: Twitter)

Mass demonstrations also erupted in two Iranian cities considered holy places by Shiite Muslims and attracting tens of millions of pilgrims each year. “Cannons, tanks and rockets, clerics must get lost” protesters chanted in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city, and the site of the revered Imam Reza shrine. They gathered on Ahmedabad Street, a main thoroughfare, where the fire could be seen in the distance. In a video from the religious academic center Qom, protesters marched through the streets, whistling and some throwing stones. “Hit him,” someone shouted as the crowd surged up.

Protests took place across Tehran, including at Vali-e Asr Square in September. September 19 and Amir Kabir University of Technology. 18. (Video: Twitter)

The protests quickly spread to the capital, with a video showing demonstrators gathering at Vali-e Asr, the main square in central Tehran. “Disgraceful, disgraceful,” they shouted as they were sprayed with water cannons mounted on armored police vehicles. Another video from central Tehran showed students at Amir Kabir University of Technology chanting “death to the dictator” – a reference to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Anger at universities has grown in recent months as the government tightens its hijab rules. Students who protest risk arrest or blacklisting that threatens their academic progress.

Video posted online in September. 20 shows women protesting in the southern Iranian cities of Kerman and northern Surrey. (Video: Twitter)

The protests extend far beyond the capital and traditionally volatile parts of Iran. In a video in Kerman, southeastern Iran, a young woman takes off her hijab and cuts her hair while sitting on a glove box surrounded by cheering crowds. “An Iranian will die, but will not accept oppression,” the crowd chanted. In Surrey, near the Caspian Sea, a woman dances around a small bonfire before throwing her turban into the fire.

A video posted online on September 9. Protests turned violent in the Iranian city of Rasht, north of Tehran, on Tuesday. (Video: Twitter)

Another video from Rasht, also in the Caspian Sea, shows a group of young people surrounding a police officer who is wielding what appears to be a stun gun. Within seconds, the crowd began to attack, pushing the officer to the ground and beating him. If gunfire was heard, demonstrators would flee.

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