Coverage of nationwide protests in Iran on Friday


Despite government claims that calm was returning to the streets, the situation in Iran worsened on Friday, with police firing on protesters, killing several.

As Friday in Iran is the day off from the weekend, people in several cities came out to protest at noon instead of the usual evening hours. A protest in the predominantly Sunni city of Zahedan at noon turned into gunfire and many casualties.

The official government news agency IRNA quoted “eyewitnesses” on Friday evening as saying 19 people were killed and many injured when security forces opened fire on protesters, after tensions that led to youth ethnic Baloch local to attack three police stations. The exact number of victims is not yet known.

News about the protests in Tehran was slow to arrive, due to the government shutting down the internet. But around 10:15 p.m. local time there were reports of violent protests in the capital.

A worrying development for the government has been protests in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, which have remained quiet for the past two weeks. Young protesters came out at noon and were met with tear gas. Instability in Khuzestan can easily lead to disruption of oil production, the lifeline of a cash-strapped government.

Protesters chanted “Woman, Life, Freedom”, the main slogan after a 22-year-old woman died in police custody on September 16 due to fatal injuries she received in the head after being detained by the police. so-called “morals police”. for her “inappropriate hijab”.

A union representing oil workers has already threatened a strike if those arrested over the past two weeks are not released.

Demonstrations also took place in the northern town of Ardebil on Friday, where demonstrators shouted “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei”, the 83-year-old cleric who has ruled the country for 33 years. .

The Intelligence Ministry issued a statement on Friday evening blaming foreign intelligence agencies and overseas opposition groups for the protests and claiming to have arrested dozens of protest ‘ringleaders’ linked to foreign conspirators. . He also accused the United States and Britain of being behind the unrest.

The Iranian Atrocities Tribunal (Aban), a people’s tribunal organized by human rights activists, said on Friday its panel had concluded “unanimously” that there was a strong case against 13 Iranian officials for answer for crimes against humanity during the November 2019 protests. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tops the list.

The symbolic court opened in London in November 2021. The protests were the bloodiest in Iran’s history, with security forces opening fire on protesters in many cities, killing hundreds. .

Iranians around the world called for demonstrations on Saturday in major cities and capitals. Activists in Iran have also called for a rally outside universities.

This seven-hour live coverage ended Saturday at 01:00 a.m. Iran time.

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Young women in Gohar Dasht, west of Tehran, took off their headscarves while chanting, “We are all Mahsas”, referring to Mahsa Amini who was killed while in the custody of hijab police. His death sparked the current protests.

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The first video showing a relatively large and noisy demonstration in Tehran on Friday evening. The exact place of the demonstration is not mentioned. We hear the demonstrators chanting “Death to Khamenei” and banging on metal sheets.

Those who stayed at their homes in Tehran shout slogans from their apartment windows. Here “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to the dictator” resound in a residential area of ​​the capital.

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Demonstration in Gohar Dasht, 20 miles west of Tehran. People sing “Woman, Life Freedom” while walking down the street.

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On Friday night, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry rushed to claim it had arrested nearly 200 protest leaders affiliated with foreign-based opposition groups who the Islamic Republic says are behind of the current uprising. The ministry said it had arrested 92 monarchists, 77 people linked to Kurdish groups and 49 people linked to the opposition group Mojahedin Khalq (MEK).

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Protests Friday evening in Dezful, in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan. This is the first reported protest in the city. Earlier in the day, protests took place in the provincial capital Ahvaz.

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New video received from the Zahedan events earlier on Friday shows protesters throwing incendiary devices at a police station they later seized.

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Gunshots are heard in Mashhad, northwestern Iran, in a short video that does not show an overview of the protests. Mashhad is Iran’s second largest city and an important religious center.

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Young people demonstrate in Sanandaj, a large city populated by Kurds in western Iran. They chant “Woman, Life, Freddom”, the main slogan of the current demonstrations.

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Violent protests in the predominantly Kurdish town of Saqqez in western Iran, the hometown of Mahsa Amini whose death at the hands of Iranian hijab police in mid-September sparked the current protests. People were chanting “Deth to the Dictator”.

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Video received from the central city of Kerman shows protests in the afternoon. The demonstrators chant “Death to the dictator”.

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A social media monitoring group, @1500tasvir, says that according to its information, government forces killed 36 people in Zahedan today, using military weapons. However, protesters have burned down a police station and are controlling most of the streets. This news was received at 6:30 p.m. local time. A video below shows injured people in a hospital.

Iran International cannot confirm the high death toll quoted by this source. A Baloch community activist in Norway told us 10 people had been killed but expressed concern for the lives of injured protesters being taken to hospital.

Screen grab from video showing smoke rising over Zahedan, where a police station and supermarket were set on fire by protesters

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A video from Zahedan shows injured people in a hospital.

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On Friday, young demonstrators in Ahvaz shouted “Woman, life, freedom” as police used tear gas.

Another video from Ahvaz, showing women removing their headscarves.

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A young woman standing at the grave of her mother Minoo Majidi who was killed by security forces in Kermanshah on September 20, holding her hair which she shaved off in protest.

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On Friday, protesters in the northern town of Ardebil chanted “Death to the Dictator”, a favorite slogan at all recent protests.

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Security and intelligence officers mark homes in Iran from where people were heard shouting slogans.

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