Nationwide protests continued across Iran for the 45th consecutive night on October 31, as the judiciary announced public trials would be held in Tehran for 1,000 people who have been arrested in a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces.
Iran has for the past six weeks been rocked by protests of a scale and nature unprecedented since the 1979 Islamic revolution, sparked by the September death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police.
The security forces have responded to the protests with brutal force, killing at least 253 people, including 34 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people have been arrested.
Security forces killed another schoolgirl after she removed images of the founder of the Islamic Republic from her schoolbooks.
Parmis Hamnava attended Parvin Etesami secondary school in Iranshahr at the time of her death, according to Halwash news agency and Baloch Activists' Campaign, which monitors human rights violations in Sistan and Baluchestan province.
Hamnava suffered a nosebleed at school after being severely beaten by security forces when they noticed her books were missing images of Ayatollah Khomeini. She died the following day in hospital. Intelligence agencies have threatened her family and friends not to disclose her death to the media, Halwash reported.
Girls across Iran have joined the nationwide protests in recent days, leading to clashes with teachers and ultimately security forces.
Footballer calls for journalists’ release
Footballer Sardar Azmoun has called for the release from prison of two female journalists who reported on Amini’s death.
Journalists Nilofar Hamidi and Elahe Mohammadi are accused of spying and of being “primary sources of news for foreign media.”
1,000 public trials planned
Iran's judiciary announced that they will hold public trials for as many as 1,000 people accused of having played a "central role" in the nationwide unrest.
Each is due to be tried alone for "subversive actions," including assaulting security guards, setting fire to public property and for other charges.
"Those who intend to confront and subvert the regime are dependent on foreigners and will be punished according to legal standards," said judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, who indicated that some protesters would be charged with collaborating with foreign governments.
Ejei claimed that prosecutors sought to differentiate between angry Iranians – who merely sought to vent their grievances on the streets – and those who wanted to take down the Islamic Republic.
"Even among the agitators, it should be clarified as to who had the intention of confronting the system and overthrowing it," he said.
Death sentence after one hearing
Mohammad Ghobadlo, a protester who was arrested on the charge of "corruption on earth" after participating in an anti-government rally, was sentenced to death after just one hearing, his mother said on October 31.
"My son is only 22-year-old and he is also ill. They deprived him of having a lawyer and do not allow lawyers to enter the court,” she said in a clip published online.
"They interrogated him without having access to a lawyer, and sentenced him to death after only one hearing. Is this Islamic justice? In which court of law do they sentence people to death after just one hearing? They are going to execute him soon. I ask people to help.”
The charge of “corruption on earth” is often used by the Iranian authorities against seemingly innocent individuals to capture a wide range of so-called political or religious crimes.
The European Union and Germany are looking for ways to classify Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.
"I made it clear last week that we will launch another package of sanctions, and we will examine how we can also list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation," Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, said on October 30.
Her comments came after IRGC top commander Hussein Salami warned protesters that October 29 would be their last day of taking to the streets, in a sign that security forces may intensify their already brutal crackdown on the widespread demonstrations.
"We’re saying to young people and to those who have been deceived that today is the last day they will riot. They should not take to the streets again," Salami said at a funeral for victims of this week’s shooting in Shiraz.