Iran’s semi-official state news agency ISNA said thousands of people came to Mahsa Amini’s cemetery in the city of Sakiz in Kurdistan province to mark the 40th day of her death as clashes erupted across Iran on Wednesday.
Protests have swept across the Islamic Republic following the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was detained by the “morality police” on September 16 and taken to a “re-education center” for allegedly not abiding by the country’s conservative norms. Dress code.
On Wednesday, Iran held nationwide protests to mark the 40th day of Amini’s death, an important day of mourning in Iranian and Islamic traditions.
The unrest came on the same day that at least 15 people were killed and 10 others injured in what appeared to be a terrorist attack on the Shrine of Shahchera in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the shrine attack, saying in a statement that one of its members “targeted the infidel group inside the shrine that rejected Sunniism” with his machine gun.
State news agency ISNA said security forces “did not prevent” protesters from visiting Amini’s grave in Sakiz, where she was also born, but clashes were reported after people left the site.
“In the cemetery, there was no clash between mourners and the police, most were chanting Kurdish slogans, some moved towards the city with the intention of clashing, one of them raised a Kurdish flag,” ISNA said.
In videos shared on social media, large groups of people and rows of cars can be seen heading to the Sakiz Aichi cemetery, where Amini is buried. A group of people in the video can be heard chanting “women, life, freedom” and “death to this regime that kills children”.
Other videos showed smoke billowing from several fires on the streets of various nearby neighborhoods. Gunfire could be heard in the background as protesters marched down the street.
Video shared by Kurdish human rights group Hengaw and verified by CNN showed a massive deployment of security forces in Sakiz late Tuesday, after activists called for protests across the country to mark 40 days of Amini’s death. .
Internet regulator Netblocks said on Twitter that the internet in Iran’s Kurdistan province and Sanandaj was almost completely cut off starting Wednesday morning. State news ISNA reported that “the internet in the city of Saqqez was cut off due to security concerns” following “outbreaks and scattered clashes”.
There is no law in Iran that says the government cannot ban religious ceremonies if the state believes there is a security issue.
The government has banned and attacked religious ceremonies in the past on security grounds, and in other cases has contacted families to ask them not to hold public mourning ceremonies.
Iranian state media IRNA said Amini’s family issued a statement saying they would not commemorate her death on Wednesday.
Kurdish human rights group Hengaw said the Amini family was “under tremendous pressure from the security forces” to write the statement, adding that they threatened to arrest Amini’s brother if the march took place.
Mass protests erupted in Tehran on Wednesday, with security forces firing tear gas at demonstrators mourning Amini’s death.
Videos posted to social media showed demonstrators burning trash cans and throwing rocks. Security forces can be seen in return with pellet guns.
According to another video posted on social media, a group of protesters in Tehran, reportedly doctors and dentists, chanted “Freedom, freedom, freedom!” A separate video showed tear gas being fired in their direction.
Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] Riot troops were seen marching in Tehran as protests intensified on Wednesday, according to videos posted on social media.
Earlier in the day, similar troops fired on a group of doctors protesting in Tehran, forcing the crowd to disperse, according to those who filmed the video. It is unclear what was fired in the video.
There have also been protests at universities across the country, including Ferdowsi University in Mashhad; Karaj Azad University; Department of Science and Research, Islamic Azad University, Tehran; and Azad University-Kerman.
Tehran’s Sharif University of Science and Technology announced that due to “the persistence of some problems and the lack of a calm environment,” classes for freshmen will “continue to be held virtually until further notice,” IRNA reported on Wednesday.
As the protests have intensified, international leaders have been condemning the Iranian military’s crackdown on peaceful protesters. The United States on Wednesday imposed a series of new sanctions on Iranian officials involved in the ongoing crackdown.
The sanctions include the commander of the IRGC intelligence group and the deputy commander of IRGC operations, as well as two officials in Sistan and Balochistan, “where some of the worst violence in the latest round of protests has occurred” Finance The ministry said in a statement.
White House officials said the United States was concerned that Russia could advise Iran on how to crack down on public protests as clashes erupted in Iran to mark 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini.
“We are concerned that Moscow may use Russia’s vast experience in suppressing public demonstrations to advise Tehran on best practices,” White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said at a briefing on Wednesday. “Iran is helping The evidence of Russia’s war on Ukraine is clear and public. The more isolated Iran and Russia are, the closer they are. Our message to Iran is very, very clear – stop killing your people, stop sending arms to Russia Help kill Ukrainians.”
UN experts have called for an independent international investigation into the crackdown.
“A staggering number of protesters, many of them children, women and the elderly, have been detained and killed,” experts noted in a statement Wednesday, as they called on the government to tell police to stop using excessive and lethal force.