February 17 (Portal) – Protests shook Iran again overnight on Thursday after appearing to have eased in recent weeks, with protesters demanding the fall of the Islamic Republic, online video posts allegedly showed on Friday.
Demonstrations in numerous cities, including Tehran, which began Thursday evening and continued into the night, marked 40 days since the execution of two protesters last month.
Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini were hanged on January 8th. Two others were executed in December.
The protests that have gripped Iran began last September after the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in custody for violating the hijab policy, which requires women to cover their hair and body completely cover.
Videos on Friday showed demonstrations in several districts of Tehran, as well as in the cities of Karaj, Isfahan, Qazvin, Rasht, Arak, Mashhad, Sanandaj, Qorveh and Izeh in Khuzestan province.
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Portal was able to confirm three of the videos of the protests in Zahedan and one in Tehran.
An online video, said to be from the holy Shia city of Mashhad in the northeast, showed protesters chanting, “My martyred brother, we will avenge your blood.”
Other videos showed large protests on Friday in Zahedan, the capital of southeastern Sistan-Balochistan province, home to Iran’s Baloch minority.
Meanwhile, the judiciary said a court had fired and jailed a police commander accused of raping a girl. The
The incident fueled anger ahead of protests on September 30, which Amnesty International said faced a crackdown in Zahedan that left at least 66 people dead. Continue reading
The long wave of unrest has posed one of the toughest challenges facing the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. In open defiance of hijab rules, women have waved and burned their scarves or cut their hair.
While unrest appears to have died down in recent weeks, likely due to executions or crackdowns, acts of civil disobedience continue.
Nightly anti-government chants echoed in Tehran and other cities. At night, youths spray graffiti denouncing the Republic or set fire to pro-government billboards or signs on major thoroughfares. Unveiled women are appearing on the streets, in malls, shops and restaurants, despite warnings from officials.
Many of the women among the dozens of recently released prisoners have posed unveiled in front of cameras.
The authorities have not backed down on the mandatory hijab policy, a pillar of the Islamic Republic.
In recent weeks, Iranian media have reported on the closure of several shops, restaurants and cafes for non-compliance with hijab rules.
Last week, Iranian officials called on unions for stricter enforcement of hijab regulations in Tehran’s shops and stores.
“Improperly” veiled female students were warned last month they would be barred from entering Tehran University, while local media reported that around 50 students were barred from entering Urmia University in the north-west for breaking hijab rules.
Human rights activists say more than 500 protesters have been killed since September, including 71 minors. Almost 20,000 were arrested. According to the judiciary, at least four people were hanged.
Karami, a 22-year-old karate master, and Hosseini were found guilty of the murder of a member of the paramilitary Basij militia.
Amnesty International said the court that convicted Karami relied on coerced confessions. Hosseini’s lawyer said his client was tortured.
Two others were executed on December 8 and 12 respectively.
Five activists who were released on Thursday said they owed their freedom to solidarity “with the freedom-loving people and youth of Iran,” according to social media posts.
“The day of freedom is near,” it said in a statement.
[email protected]; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Angus MacSwan
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