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Reports: Shot Fired At Protesters As Iranians Mark 40 Days Since Amini's Death

October 26, 2022
Akhtar Safi
3 min read
Reports: Shot Fired At Protesters As Iranians Mark 40 Days Since Amini's Death

Reports from Saqqez say security forces opened fire at mourners who had gathered in Mahsa Amini's hometown on Wednesday to mark 40 days since she died in police custody.

Thousands of people gathered at Aichi cemetery in Saqqez, a Kurdish town in the western province of Kurdistan, chanting slogans such as "Death to the dictator," in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

A large crowd then headed to the governor's office in the city center and reached Zindan Square, where security and intelligence forces shot tear gas and opened fire on them, according to reports.

"After a few nights of silence, the sound of gunfire could be heard from everywhere again this morning," a resident told IranWire.

Fars news agency said around 2,000 people gathered in Saqqez and chanted "Woman, life, freedom." ISNA news agency reported that about 10,000 people gathered at the cemetery, where security forces and mourners clashed.

The 22-year-old Amini died on September 16 in the custody of the morality police after she was arrested for allegedly wearing the hijab incorrectly. Her death sparked anti-government protests across Iran, which in turn triggered a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces that has killed at least 234 people, including 29 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people have been arrested.

Videos shared on social media by activists showed thousands of Iranians marching toward the cemetery where Amini is buried despite the heavy presence of riot police. People could be seen making their way in cars, on motorbikes and on foot along a highway, through fields and across a river.

Iranian football stars Ali Daei and Hamed Lak travelled to Saqqez to participate in the rally, but they were taken to the government guesthouse by the security forces, according to media reports.

Kurdistan governor Esmail Zarei-Kousha described the situation in Saqqez as calm and dismissed reports that roads into the city were shut as "completely false."

Hengaw, a human rights organization, said most of Saqqez was "empty" as many residents had left the town to join the rally at the cemetery.

Protests also took place across Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad in the north-east, and Ahvaz in the south-west.

According to videos obtained by IranWire, protests in Sanandaj and Tehran turned violent when security forces started shooting at protesters.

In Tehran, major sections of the traditional grand bazaar were closed in solidarity with the protests. Crowds shouted "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!" through the marketplace.

Students continued to protest in more than 20 universities around the country.

The ongoing wave of protests first focused on Iran’s strict dress code for women, but soon grew into one of the most serious challenges to the country’s establishment, with demonstrators clashing with security forces and calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic.

Iranian judicial officials announced this week that they would put more than 600 people on trial for their role in the protests, including 315 in Tehran, 201 in the neighboring Alborz province and 105 in the south-western province of Khuzestan.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi told the state-run IRNA news agency that four protesters have been charged with “war against God,” which is punishable by death in Iran.

Iranian officials have blamed the protests on foreign interference, without offering evidence.



Day 39: Protesting Students Clash With Security Forces

October 26, 2022
Roghayeh Rezaei
4 min read
Day 39: Protesting Students Clash With Security Forces