Freed activists pictures on September 23, of what appeared to be direct police fire on Iranian protesters, who expressed their anger over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of vice police.
In a video, police forces were heard behind a loudspeaker warning protesters that they would only fire seconds before doing so. Iranian authorities have not commented on the reports, but have previously denied any involvement in the killings, blaming “infiltrators, saboteurs and terrorists”.
“We will hold our ground in the streets until the total liberation of our country,” said Salim Haghighi in an interview with Voice of America less than a day after her 16-year-old son, Milan, was killed in the northwest town of Oshnavieh.
On the eighth day During the protests, demonstrators chanted slogans against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, clashing with riot police and plainclothes Basij forces in the conservative cities of Mashhad and Qom, as well as in Karaj, Tabriz, Ardebil, Rasht, Varamin and Sanandaj.
The capital Tehran was particularly tense, with gunfire heard in the affluent district of Saadatabad, as security forces rushed to disperse crowds. Several other neighborhoodsincluding Tehransar, Narmak, Sadeghiyeh and Sattarkhan witnessed similar scenes of shootings and huge fires in blocked streets, while video showed long lines of riot police on bicycles completely filling the central square of Vali- Asr to attack the demonstrators.
The rallies took place despite severe government-mandated internet disruptions intended to block communication and the transfer of video files. Iranians therefore found it difficult to connect, especially with such popular services as Instagram and WhatsApp. a lot too accused META, the company that owns the two platforms, to bow to pressure from the Iranian government. The company denied the allegations.
Tougher repression expected
As President Ebrahim Raisi Returning from his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Iranian authorities appeared to be under less pressure in their dealings with protesters.
“If anyone has a fair word to say, it will be heard, but rioting and jeopardizing public safety will not be tolerated,” he said during a live televised speech to his arrived in Tehran.
The Iranians also shared online the screenshot generic messages from their phones, sent by the Ministry of Intelligence, warning against attending rallies.
In addition to hundreds of arrests at protest sites confirmed by authorities, overnight raids on homes have also been reported, with many political activists gathered in several provinces.
And in another plan to curb protests, authorities at least six universities in Tehran announced that classes will be held online only for the next ten days.
Global campaigns to highlight Mahsa’s case and support the protesters continued to gather pace, with a Twitter hashtag under its Persian name reaching almost 48 million references.
Other international personalities have joined the campaign, from the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the eminent British author JK Rowling. And gestures of support have spread across borders. Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtascurrently imprisoned by the Turkish government, shaved his head in support of the protesters.
The state-funded broadcaster and hard-core media widely reported on what they described as “spontaneous” counter-rallies by government loyalists. In a live broadcast, however, a live shot crowds suddenly zoomed out, to accidentally show nearly empty space around the attendees. Another video released also appeared to show banners from a rally held three years ago.
Activists have long argued that the government is organizing such rallies with big budgets and media campaigns, while refusing to issue permits for protests planned by opponents. Under the Iranian Constitutionpeaceful demonstrations, even without a permit, are allowed if the participants do not carry weapons and do not act against Islamic rules.
State media coverage of recent protests has also been criticized for bias. Several video reports have emerged in recent days alleging protesters attacked ambulances and buses. Protesters, on the other hand, had previously warned against such a narrative, and published videos showing security forces using non-military vehicles as a cover.