At least a dozen cities across Iran were again the scene of overnight protests, as the Islamic Republic is marking the 44th anniversary of the revolution that brought the country’s clerical rulers to power.
Defying a brutal crackdown by security forces on more than four months of nationwide protests, hundreds of angry demonstrators took to the streets late on February 6, chanting slogans against the country’s leadership and setting fire to billboards that had been installed for the 10-day commemorations of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, protesters blocked a main road leading to the city's prison and a base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Protesters could be heard chanting "Death to Khamenei" and "Death to the dictator," in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Sanandaj has been a flashpoint of the protests that have rocked the country since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.
Anti-government rallies were also held overnight in the cities of Karaj, Arak, Mashhad, Kerman, Kermanshah and several areas of the capital.
Footage shared on social media shows hundreds of residents of Tehran’s Ekbatan neighborhood chanting slogans such as "Death to the dictator" and "Death to the republic of executions."
The protesters also sang the song “Baraye,” or “For” in English, which has become an anthem to the women-led protest movement. Singer Shervin Hajipour, who faces possible prison time, has won a Grammy award for this song.
The authorities have cracked down hard on the demonstrations, which pose one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed by the 1979 revolution.
Security forces have killed more than 520 people, including dozens of children, and detained over 18,000, activists say.
Following unlawful detentions and biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.