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HomeNews ReportsGunfire and blasts heard at anti-Hijab protests following Mahsa Amini's death in Iran, the...

Gunfire and blasts heard at anti-Hijab protests following Mahsa Amini’s death in Iran, the death toll in police action nears 200

Iran leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused its enemies of fueling the riots

On Wednesday, gunfire and explosives were heard in the Iranian cities of Isfahan and Karaj, as protests over the murder of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, raged across the country. The Iranian security forces also confronted protests in Amini’s hometown Saqez where the demonstrators could be heard chanting slogans against the mandatory hijab laws of the country. Women across the Islamic nation are protesting against the mandatory hijab law after Mahasa Amini was killed in police custody after she was detained for improperly wearing a hijab. The Police have used brutal force to contain the protests, and the death toll in the police action is nearing 200.

According to the reports, the protesting female students shouted slogans like “death to the dictator” on the streets of Tehran, the video of which went viral over social media. The students also took off their headscarves and marched in the protests on the streets of the city. “Death to the dictator. People use burning trash bins as barricades against armed state security forces in Tehran’s Nazee Abad neighborhood”, tweeted Iran Human Rights (IHR), the Norway-based human rights organization.

Reports published 4 days ago mention that over 185 people have been killed so far in the protests carried out in Iran after Mahsa Amini’s death, including many children. Many of the deceased are women and children. “At least 28 children have been killed and hundreds more detained and held mostly in adult prisons”, the human rights group Iran Human Rights was quoted. Deadly violence continued to shake Iran’s far southeast area even four weeks after Amini’s death.

People also protested in several other parts of Iran including Zahedan and Sanandaj. Earlier on September 30, protests erupted in Zahedan over the reported rape of a teenage girl by a police commander. The demonstrators urged the citizens to join them in the protests to turn out in solidarity with the people of Sanandaj and the heroic people of Zahedan. “We don’t want spectators. Come and join us,” a group of mainly young women outside Tehran’s Azad University sang, the video of which was also posted by Iran Human Rights (IHR).

The protesters also spray painted “Woman, Life, Freedom” slogans on the wall of the former US embassy which was abandoned in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Human Rights Organisation also said that the Iranian government has so far killed around 108 protesting people and another 93 people in Zahedan. They have also warned of an impending bloody crackdown in Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, Iran leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei again accused its enemies of fueling the riots. “The actions of the enemy, such as propaganda, trying to influence minds, creating excitement, encouraging and even teaching the manufacture of incendiary devices are now completely clear”, he said. According to IHR, workers at the Asalouyeh petrochemical factory in the southwest, Abadan in the west, and Bushehr in the south have also joined the protest march this week.

Notably, EU countries have agreed on punitive measures against Tehran. “It is time to sanction those responsible in Iran for the repression of women”, said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. Also, French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed solidarity with the protesters.

The Tehran-based Children’s Rights Protection Society has condemned the deaths of 28 minors and criticized the Tehran security forces. Also, Canada’s foreign minister slammed Iran forces for killing child protesters. “Canada condemns the Iranian regime’s continued use of violence against protesters, resulting in the death of civilians, including children. The ongoing arbitrary detention and mistreatment of protesters must stop”, he said.

Several videos making rounds on social networking sites also showed protests ongoing in dozens of cities across Iran early on Sunday. Hundreds of high school girls and university students participated in the protests despite the use of tear gas, clubs, and in many cases live ammunition by the Iranian security forces. However, the Iranian authorities have denied using live bullets amid the protests. They have also imposed internet restrictions across the country and have launched a campaign of mass arrest.

Mahsa Amini’s custodial death sparks anti-hijab protests across Iran

22-year-old Mahsa Amini was abducted by the ‘morality police’ in Tehran for not complying with the mandatory hijab laws of the country. Amini who was on a pleasure trip to Tehran had not covered her hair properly in the hijab. She was arrested by the police and then beaten in the police van while being taken to a detention centre, dubbed as a ‘re-education class’ for not conforming to the country’s mandatory hijab rules.

The police took the woman to the police station on Vozara Avenue where already dozens of other women were being held for not following the hijab rules. They beat the women and schooled them about the proper dress rules of the country. Mahsa was brutally beaten and taken to the hospital after she stopped responding in the custody. The doctors at the hospital stated that her heart continued to beat but her brain was no longer functioning. The woman breathed her last three days after the incident.

Her killing sparked massive protests in Iran, with women taking to the streets to up raise their voices against the regime. Several ladies including school-going girls burnt their hijabs in sympathy with the tragedy, while women all throughout the world trimmed their hair in the protest. Protests erupted in dozens of places around the country in the aftermath of her death after which the government retaliated with a harsh crackdown.

However, three weeks after the death of Amini, Iran’s Forensic Organisation revealed a report stating that the woman had died due to illness and not due to blows and beatings given to her in police custody. Earlier, the Police had also tried to cover up the matter claiming that Mahsa was already suffering from a heart problem and that she was never beaten in the custody.

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