Home » Clashes in Iran as thousands gather at Mahsa Amini’s grave, 40 days after her death

Clashes in Iran as thousands gather at Mahsa Amini’s grave, 40 days after her death

by Mahmmod Shar

By Celine Alkhaldi, Adam Pourahmadi and Tara John, CNN

CNN — Clashes broke out throughout Iran Wednesday as thousands of people came to the burial site of Mahsa Amini in Saqqez, a city in the Kurdistan province, to mark 40 days since her death, semi-official Iranian state news agency ISNA said.

Protests have swept through the Islamic Republic following the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, who died on September 16 after being detained by “morality police” and taken to a “re-education center,” allegedly for not abiding by the country’s conservative dress code.

Nationwide protests took place in Iran on Wednesday to mark 40 days since Amini died, an important day of mourning in Iranian and Islamic tradition.

The unrest came on the same day that at least 15 people were killed and 10 others were injured in a “terrorist attack” at the Shahcheragh Shrine in the city of Shiraz, southern Iran, according to state-run IRNA news. It’s unclear if Wednesday’s attack was linked to the protests.

ISNA said security forces “did not prevent” protesters from visiting Amini’s grave in Saqqez, which is also her birthplace, but reported that clashes took place after people left the site.


“There were no clashes between mourners and police at the burial site, most were chanting Kurdish slogans, some moved towards the city with the intention of clashes, one of them raised the Kurdish flag,” ISNA said.

In videos shared on social media, large crowds of people and lines of cars are seen making their way to Saqqez’s Aichi cemetery where Amini is buried. Groups of people in the videos are heard chanting “women, life, freedom” and “death to this child-killing regime.”

Other videos show plumes of smoke rising from several fires in the streets of a different neighborhood nearby. Gunshots are heard in the background while protesters march in the streets.

Video shared by Kurdish rights group Hengaw and verified by CNN shows security forces deployed in large numbers in Saqqez late Tuesday, after activists called for protests across the country to mark 40 days since Amini died.

Thousands gathered in Saqqez to mark 40 days since Mahsa Amini’s death.

On Wednesday morning, Sanandaj and Iran’s Kurdistan Province reported nearly total internet outages, according to internet monitoring service Netblocks. The internet was shut down in Saqqez city due to security concerns following “outbreaks and scattered clashes,” according to state news agency ISNA.

There is no law in Iran that forbids the government from prohibiting religious ceremonies if it fears for national security.

The government has in the past attacked and outlawed religious rituals under the pretext of public safety, and in other instances, it has contacted families to request that they forgo holding public funerals.

Amini’s family reportedly made a statement stating they would not be honoring her passing on Wednesday, according to Iranian state media IRNA.

According to the Kurdish rights organization Hengaw, security forces put the Amini family “under a lot of pressure” to make that statement and threatened to detain Amini’s brother if the procession took place.

Protests continue

Large protests broke out in Tehran on Wednesday, where security forces fired teargas at demonstrators mourning Amini’s death.

Video posted to social media showed demonstrators burning trash cans and throwing rocks. Security forces could be seen firing pellet guns in return.

A group of protesters in Tehran reported to be doctors and dentists were seen chanting “freedom, freedom, freedom!,” according to another video posted on social media. Another separate video shows teargas being fired in their direction.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] anti-riot units were seen marching in Tehran as the protests intensified on Wednesday, according to video posted on social media.

Similar units were firing on a group of doctors protesting in Tehran earlier in the day forcing the crowd to scatter, according to the person taking the video. It’s unclear what was being fired in the video.

Protests have also occurred at universities across the country including the University of Ferdowsi in Mashhad; Azad University in Karaj; Tehran’s Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch; and Azad University – Kerman.

IRNA reported on Wednesday that the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran has announced that classes of new students will “continue to be held virtually until further notice” due to the “persistence of some problems and the lack of a calm environment.”

International leaders have been denouncing the repression of peaceful protesters by Iranian forces as the demonstrations rage. On Wednesday, the US imposed a slew of fresh sanctions on Iranian officials taking part in the ongoing crackdown.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ intelligence organization commander and the IRGC’s deputy commander for operations are among those who will face sanctions, along with two representatives from the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, which saw “some of the worst violence in the most recent round of protests,” according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

Conflicts have broken out in Iran to mark 40 days since Mahsa Amini’s passing, according to White House officials, and the US is concerned that Russia may be giving Iran advice on how to suppress public demonstrations.

During the briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, “We are concerned that Moscow may be advising Tehran on best practices, drawing on Russia’s extensive experience of suppressing open demonstrations.” “There is clear and open evidence that Iran is assisting Russia in waging its conflict with Ukraine. The more isolated they become, the closer relations between Iran and Russia become. Our message to Iran is crystal clear: stop murdering your own people and stop supplying Russia with weapons to aid in the murder of Ukrainians.

Experts from the United Nations demanded that the crackdown be the subject of an impartial, global investigation.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the experts urged the government to order the police to stop using excessive and lethal force, noting that a “alarming number of protesters have already been detained and killed, many of whom are children, women, and older persons.”


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