Thousands took to the streets on Tuesday night, Videos of protests have surfaced in dozens of towns – from the capital Tehran to more traditional conservative strongholds such as Mashad.
The video showed some protesters chanting “women, life, freedom”. Others were also seen setting fire, scuffled with police, or removing and burning their headscarves – as well as vandalizing posters of the country’s top leader and chanting “death to the dictator”.
In a video from Tehran, young protesters marched around bonfires in the streets at night, chanting: “We are children of war. Come on, we will fight back.”
Demonstrations also took place in almost all provincial towns in Iran’s Kurdish region, including Kermanshah and Hamadan.
The protests are notable for their size, ferocity and rare feminist nature. The last protest of this magnitude was three years ago, when the government raised gas prices in 2019.
Witnesses told CNN that Tuesday night’s demonstrations appeared to be “lightning protests” — meaning groups formed and dispersed quickly to avoid clashes with Iranian security forces after violence escalated last week.
On at least one occasion, police responded harshly on Tuesday near Enghelab (“Revolution”) Square on the west side of Tehran University — a historical rallying point for protests, one source said.
“Two young men were beaten and beaten by plainclothes and riot police and then dragged into a van in front of the subway entrance,” a witness told CNN. “An injured girl lying on the sidewalk was taken to hospital by ambulance and five others were arrested on the north side of Enkhlab Square.”
It said 75 people were injured in other cities over the weekend.
The protests erupted after the death of Amini, who was stopped and detained by Iranian morality police last Tuesday.
Iranian officials said Amini died of a “heart attack” last Friday and fell into a coma after his arrest.
However, her family said she had no pre-existing heart disease, according to Iran’s pro-reform outlet Emtedad news, which claimed to have spoken to Amini’s father.
Redacted security camera footage released by Iranian state media appeared to show Amini collapsing at a “re-education” center, where she was taken to receive “instructions” about her attire.
Iran’s ethics police, part of the country’s law enforcement arm, are tasked with enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict social rules, including a dress code that requires women to wear a headscarf or hijab in public.
An aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei met with her family at Amini’s home on Monday, promising a “thorough investigation” into her death, according to Iran’s semi-official Noor news agency.
According to Noor, Khamenei’s representative in Iran’s Kurdish province, Abdulreza Purzahabi, said the supreme leader was “sad” and that the family’s grief was “his grief as well.”
He added that he hoped the family would show “goodwill to help restore calm to society”.
He added that Amini was not physically harmed during or after her detention, and called her death “unfortunate.”
Since Amini’s death, internet monitoring site Netblocks has recorded internet outages since Friday — a tactic Iran has previously used to prevent the spread of protests.