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Saturday Protests Across Iran: Midnight Update

October 8, 2022
Akhtar Safi
10 min read
Iranian protesters came out in numerous cities across the country on Saturday as several Kurdish cities in western Iran went on strike
Iranian protesters came out in numerous cities across the country on Saturday as several Kurdish cities in western Iran went on strike

Videos of ongoing Saturday protests across Iran can be seen on IranWire's Twitter page.

Iranian protesters came out in numerous cities across the country on Saturday as several Kurdish cities in western Iran went on strike. Iran's nationwide protests after the death of Mahsa Amini have entered week three with the latest unrest.

Footage shared on social media, despite severe internet restrictions, shows Iranians on the streets and chanting anti-government slogans. Shops have been closed in western Sanandaj city. 

In central Karaj city, angry protesters blocked streets and could be heard chanting "death to the dictator," while some university students defied orders to return to their classrooms.

Students in Isfahan and Tabriz have also refused to go to class and joined protesters on the streets.  

Clips from eastern Mashhad city show angry protesters, mainly women, removing their headscarves and chanting anti-government slogans. 

Protesters are coming out in a growing number of cities across Iran on Saturday. 

Protests have so far been reported in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, Abadan, Mashhad, Qazvin, Arak, Damghan, Kermanshah, Shiraz, Rafsanjan and Mahabad on Saturday. 

The new wave of public anger flared after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, died in police custody on September 16, three days after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran's strict rules for women wearing hijab. 

More than 150 people have so far been killed, at least 9 of them under the age of 18. Activists have said the average age of those killed in the demonstrations is 20. 

Iran has witnessed waves of anti-government protests over recent years. In November 2019, the country saw the deadliest violence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, as protests erupted over gas price hikes. Hundreds were reportedly killed at that time. The ongoing protests are the biggest since the 2019 unrest.

Angry protesters have tapped a deep well of grievances in the Islamic Republic, including the country’s social restrictions, political repression of opposition figures and groups, and the weak economy.

Update: 3pm Tehran-time.

Students at the female-only university of Al-Zahra in Tehran chanted "Raisi get lost" while president Ebrahim Raisi was addressing a group of students inside the campus. Students can be seen showing their middle fingers and chanting against the Islamic Republic. 

Riot police violently clashed with as footage from western Sanandaj shows fierce clashes between protesters and riot forces. 

Security forces shot dead a young driver in the city. Videos from the Kurd-dominated city show a man's body on the steering wheel, blood pouring from his head, while a woman screams and other protesters flee. Horrified people later raced to the car to recover the dead man's body.  

More footage from the city shows riot police firing live bullets directly at the people.

Plumes of smoke can be seen rising from several parts of the city after protesters blocked streets by burning tyres.    

In the northern city of Rasht, Basij paramilitary forces attacked a group of protesters.

"The Basij attacked and beat the people," a man can be heard in a clip from the city as a woman, with a bleeding head, tries to reach a medical centre after being beaten by batons. In the central city of Isfahan, riot police can be seen beating a group of women.  

Footage from eastern Mashdad city shows riot force firing gunshots at a group of women who have removed their headscarves. 

Protesters in several neighbourhoods of the capital Tehran came out to the streets and can be seen chanting "Death to the dictator." 

Fierce clashes between protesters and riot police have also been reported outside the Shariati metro station in Tehran.

"Come out, people. Let's get Iran back," a man can be heard outside the station. 

Businessmen in Shiraz city have announced a strike as clips from the city shows most of the city's shops are shut.  

Update: 4pm Tehran-time.

Angry protesters have seized the main square of western Sanandaj city after riot police opened fire at them. At least one young man has been confirmed dead in the city. Protesters have also seized at least two streets in the capital.

Footage from Sanandaj shows protesters, mainly women, waving their headscarves over their heads in the city's main square.  

Protests also continued in Tehran, in several locations, including in the Tajrish neighborhood, following the outbreak of new protests in the Kurdish cities. "Come [to us], the people have taken the street," a man can be heard in a clip outside Saadi metro station in the capital.  

Social media footage also showed angry protesters burning rubbish bins to stop riot police from reaching the scene on another street taken by protesters. They can be heard chanting against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Demonstraters also torched a police station in Tehran's historic bazaar area on Saturday afternoon. 

Riot police are reported to have shot a schoolgirl in Tehran. Footage from the scene shows a young woman lying on a sidewalk with blood pouring from her head. Nearby people ran to help her. 

Revolutionary Guards stormed classes in a high school in Tehran on Saturday after teenage pupils became one of the latest groups to demonstrate at their schools. The security forces confiscated students' mobile phones, looking for any signs of their presence at the protests. 

And in another clip, at least ten members of the riot police can be seen arresting a young woman while another group of tried raced to help her after police start beating the first woman.

In central Karaj, outside Tehran, security forces fired live ammunition at protesters from the rooftop of a police station.

And demonstrators in western Kermanshah can be seen in other clips chanting "Freedom, freedom, freedom!"

Update: 5pm Tehran-time.

Nationwide protests continued with full intensity in more than a dozen cities across Iran, with riot police violently clashing with protestors over the afternoon. Several streets of the capital and a western city were under the control of demonstrators. 

Plumes of thick smoke could be seen rising from Tehran's historic bazaar Saturday afternoon, after protesters torched a police station. Widespread strikes are taking place in Saqqez, Diwandareh, Mahabad, Sanandaj, Shiraz and parts of the capital. 

Dozens of riot police brought the Tehran bazaar under siege as hundreds of businessmen were locked inside. Shots could be heard in clips shared from inside the bazaar.

Riot police could be seen in some videos shooting what was reported to be live ammunition and tear gas at protesters, in clips out of Karaj. 

Schoolgirls in Kermanshah refused to return to their classes, instead removing their hijabs and gathering outside their school, where some videos showed them chanting "Woman, life, freedom," while waving their scarves over their heads. A school in Saqqez saw similar scenes while schoolgirls in Tehran were seen chanting "Death to Khamenei!" 

Several streets remained under the protester's control in the capital. People have blocked another street in the city's Narmak district.  

"Youth are mounting a coup against the regime," a determined pensioner can be heard in a clip from Narmak as demonstrators were trying to block the street. "God bless them," the pensioner said.

Footage from Sanandaj, which witnessed violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators, shows people throwing stones at the police while smoke can be seen rising from rubbish bins protesters had set alight to block the road. 

Protesters have also smashed CCTV cameras in at least one part of the city, videos obtained by IranWire show. 

Protesters caught and beat a member of the riot police in the city. 

Women also blocked traffic in central Isfahan and were dancing while waving their headscarves as people in cars were cheering for them. Crowds of women also came out in the Azadi square of central Hamadan on Saturday afternoon.

Update: 11pm Tehran-time.

More protesters came to the streets out across Iran as night fell on Saturday. The total death toll exceeds at least 185 people since the unrest began three weeks ago.    

Hundreds of protesters in the Nazi Abad district in Tehran defied a huge presence of security forces and went out on Saturday evening to chant anti-government slogans. 

Protesters on Tehran's Shariati Street blocked the flow of traffic and the main square of western Kermanshah city was on fire. Clips from the city show plumes of smoke rising from tires protesters had set alight to prevent security forces from reaching the area. 

Central areas of the capital have been the scene of fierce clashes between security forces and the people. People could be heard chanting "Death to the Dictator." Hundreds of defied women removed their hijab in the area and stopped traffic.  

Clips from central Isfahan province show riot police chasing protesters, mainly women, and opening fire on them while protesters could be heard chanting against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In the Kurdish town of Sanandaj, protesters retaliated by giving chase to security forces. 

Protesters also torched several motorcycles used by riot police in Tehran. Footage from the capital shows numerous motorcycles on fire as people try to find a way to go through the rising smoke. 

Footage obtained by IranWire shows that police shot a woman with live ammunition in eastern Mashhad. A motionless woman can be seen lying on the ground and another woman can be heard screaming.

Another clip from central Karaj shows half a dozen armed forces beating a pregnant woman. Her husband unsuccessfully tried to convince the police that they did not participate in the protests. 

Three weeks into a wave of anti-government protests across Iran, authorities in Tehran seem increasingly frightened by the scale and determination of the popular uprising against the Islamic Republic, and increasingly ruthless in their attempts to crush the movement. 

Meanwhile, the death toll reached to at least 185 people, including at least 19 children, according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group.

The highest number of killings occurred in Sistan and Baluchistan province with half the recorded deaths. 

"In many cases, particularly those of young girls, security forces have subjected families to arrests, coercion and duress to force them into announcing their children’s deaths as suicide on camera or to keep them quiet," the group said in a statement Saturday. 

"Protesters have been killed in 17 provinces, with the most reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mazandaran, Gilan and Western Azerbaijan. Some were killed instantly, and some passed away from their injuries later. The most deaths were reported on 21, 22 and 30 September," it added. 

Update: Midnight Tehran-time.

Parts of Sanandaj in Iranian Kurdistan were still under the control of protesters by midnight, Tehran-time, as Iran's state television faced a cyber attack amid raging unrest throughout the day and evening across the country.

Edalat-e Ali, a hacktivist group, had hacked Iranian state television news at 9pm, interrupting a broadcast about Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with a clip featuring photos of Mahsa Amini and three other young women killed by security forces, along with chants of “Women, life, freedom!”

The authorities in Iranian Kurdistan, meanwhile, completely shut the internet down in several Kurdish cities on Saturday evening after the cities witnessed fierce clashes between protesters and security forces over the day.

Footage from Sanandaj, seen on social media, shows protesters holding one of the main streets and women chanting "Women, life freedom!" as smoke rises from objects protesters set alirhgt on to prevent riot police from breaching their positions.

In Shiraz, where businessmen went on strike during day time, hundreds of protesters were out on the streets and could be heard chanting against the Islamic Republic.

In Tehran's Saadatabad area, protesters were still on the streets at midnight and chanted slogans against the Basij paramilitary forces. Riot police continued to violently clash with protesters in Tehran and footage showed more than a dozen security forces beating a young man whose hands were tied behind his back.

Security forces also stormed the homes of people who gave shelter to protesters in Karaj, outside Tehran, and gunshots could be heard as police tried to force their way into private residences. 

"Come out!" police could be heard saying to people inside. 

And hundreds of people chanted "Death to the Dictator" outside Tehran's Shariati Metro station before security forces attacked. Police also fired teargas into a car after they unsuccessfully tried to arrest the people inside. A man was trying to convince the forces not to fire teargas inside the car by saying the car would catch fire.

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