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Politics

Day 40: Crowds Defy Crackdown On 40th Day Since Amini’s Death

October 27, 2022
3 min read
Tension in Iranian cities was high on the 40th day since Mahsa Amini died while in police custody.
Tension in Iranian cities was high on the 40th day since Mahsa Amini died while in police custody.

Thousands of people marked the 40th day since Mahsa Amini died while in custody of morality police, taking to the streets of Iranian cities and towns to express anger against the clerical regime. Meanwhile, 15 people were reported killed in an attack claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Demonstrations on Wednesday, October 26, rocked Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Urmia, Saqqez, Rasht, Babol, Qom, Arak, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Borujard, Mahabad and dozens of other cities across the country, while student protests continued to paralyze dozens of universities.

According to reports and videos obtained by IranWire, at least two Kurds were killed during overnight protests in Mahabad.

What happened on the 40th day of protests?

Thousands attended Mahsa's ceremony

Reports from Saqqez say security forces opened fire at mourners who had gathered in Mahsa Amini's hometown to mark 40 days since her death.

Thousands of people gathered at Aichi cemetery in Saqqez, a Kurdish town in the western province of Kurdistan, shouting "Kurdistan Kurdistan, the graveyard of fascists" and "Death to the dictator," in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

A witness said the cemetery was filled with members of the Basij militia and riot police. “But people from all around the Kurdistan province are here. We are all mourning Mahsa’s death together.”

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.

In videos and pictures shared on social media, protesters and armed security forces can be seen clashing.

"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.

Reinforcement of security forces arrived in Saqqez overnight, and the main roads in the city had been blocked since the early hours of Wednesday, local sources reported.

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

In Kamiyaran, also in Kurdistan province, the security forces shot at the protesters at short range.

Carnage in Shiraz

Three armed men attacked a Shia shrine in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, killing at least 15 people, media reported, in an attack claimed by the Sunni militant group Islamic State.

The IRNA news agency described the attackers as "takfiri terrorists," a label used by officials in mainly Shia Iran to refer to armed Sunni Islamist groups.

The attackers shot at pilgrims and staff at the entrance to the shrine of Shahcheragh, the report quoted witnesses as saying.

According to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, several women and children were among the dead and a total of 40 people were wounded.

"The terrorists started shooting with Kalashnikovs while entering the courtyard” of the shrine," Fars news agency reported.

he reports said police arrested two of the three attackers and were looking for the third.

More Western sanctions

The United States said was imposing new sanctions against 17 Iranian officials and entities involved in “repression, censorship, and prison abuses.”

“We join [Mahsa’s] family and the Iranian people for a day of mourning and reflection,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, adding that the United States “is committed to supporting the Iranian people and ensuring that those responsible for the brutal crackdown on the ongoing nationwide protests in Iran are held accountable.”

“Today, we are announcing a joint action between the State and Treasury Departments designating 14 individuals and three entities using five different authorities, demonstrating our commitment to use all appropriate tools to hold all levels of the Iranian government to account.”

Three commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, six government officials who “hold leadership positions within Iran’s prison system, including at Tehran’s Evin prison, as well as the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan were among the individual sanctioned.

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