Clashes during protests for the fourth week in a row

The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, three days after his arrest in Tehran by the vice squad.

Schoolgirls chanted slogans, workers went on strike and clashes with law enforcement broke out on Saturday in Iran, where protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini entered their fourth week, NGOs say.

Anger erupted after the 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman died in hospital on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by the vice squad for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women, including the use of the veil.

Iranian authorities said on Friday that Mahsa Amini died of an illness and not “blows” to the head, though his family said he was previously in good health.

Demonstrations continued in Iran on Saturday as part of this protest movement that has also led to rallies in solidarity with Iranian women in recent weeks around the world.

In Saqez, hometown of Mahsa Amini in Kurdistan province, schoolgirls chanted “woman, life, freedomand girls walking down the street took off their scarves to wave them over their heads, according to videos recorded on Saturday, the Norway-based human rights NGO Hengaw said.

Despite restrictions on internet access by authorities trying to prevent demonstrations and the spread of images of the crackdown, protesters have adopted new tactics to get their message across.

Like this large banner placed on an overpass of the Modares highway that runs through central Tehran, according to online footage verified by AFP, on which is written: “We are no longer afraid. we will fight“.

A banner hanging on a highway bridge in Tehran reads in Farsi “We are no longer afraid, we will fight.” CGU/AFP

A widely shared video shows a man changing the text of a slogan on a large public bulletin board where the phrase “The police are at the service of the people.” become “The police kill people.“.

“General strikes

In another form of protest,general strikesit will take place in Saqez, Sanandaj and Divandarreh in Kurdistan province, as well as in Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province, according to Hengaw.

In Sanandaj, shots were heard during clashes between protesters and security forces, according to footage shared by the online outlet 1500tasvir, which lists human rights violations.

Demonstrations also took place in Shiraz (south), as well as in Karaj, a city located west of Tehran, and in Kerman (south), according to the same source. AFP could not immediately verify the images of 1500tasvir.

The repression has increased since the start of the protest movement, the largest since the demonstrations against the increase in gasoline prices in 2019.

At least 92 people have died since September 16, according to the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights, while an official report puts some 60 dead, including 12 members of the security forces.

Ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi, who attended a ceremony at a Tehran university on Saturday to mark the start of the academic year, blamed outside forces for the unrest and said the students would not serve the interests of “the enemy“.

Iran has repeatedly accused outside forces of fueling the protests, including the United States, its sworn enemy. Last week, Tehran announced that nine foreign nationals, including those from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands, had been arrested.

On Friday, Paris called the French “going through iran” a “leave the country as soon as possible given the risk of arbitrary detention to which they are exposed“.

The violent crackdown on protests in Iran has sparked a wave of condemnation around the world, and the announcement of sanctions against the regime, including by the United States and Canada, while the European Union has said it is examining possible sanctions.

SEE ALSO – Iran: where is the revolt?

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