IRAN: Demonstrations rocked Iran again overnight on Thursday after appearing to have subsided in previous weeks, with protesters demanding the toppling of the Islamic Republic, as video surfaced online on Friday.
A number of cities, including Tehran, held marches on Thursday evening and went on into the night to remember the passing of 40 days since the killing of two demonstrators last month.
Protest erupts in Iran
On January 8, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini were executed. In December, two more were put to death.
Demonstrations swept across the nation in September after the death in custody of Mahsa Amin, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was arrested by morality police for allegedly not donning her hijab properly.
“My martyred brother, we shall avenge your blood,” protesters were heard chanting in a video that appeared to be from Mashhad, a holy Shi’ite city in the northeast.
Other recordings showed significant demonstrations on Friday in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan-Baluchistan, which is home to Iran’s Baluchi minority and is located in the southeast.
Meanwhile, the judiciary stated that a police commander who was charged with raping a girl had been found not guilty and sentenced to jail.
The event increased resentment ahead of the demonstrations on September 30, which were met with a crackdown in Zahedan during which at least 66 people were killed, as per Amnesty International.
The lengthy wave of unrest has posed one of the greatest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Women have waved and burned their scarves in open defiance of the hijab laws, or they have cropped their hair.
Acts of civil disobedience have persisted despite the fact that the disturbance seemed to have subsided recently, most likely as a result of the executions or the crackdown.
Tehran and neighbouring cities are filled with nightly anti-government shouts. On major highways, young people burn or spray anti-Republican graffiti at night. They also deface billboards and signs. Despite official warnings, unveiled women can be seen in public places like malls, shops, and restaurants.
Among the scores of recently released inmates, many of the women have posed naked for photographs. The mandatory hijab requirement, which is a cornerstone of the Islamic Republic, is still in place.
In recent weeks, Iranian media has reported on the closure of a number of shops, eateries, and cafes due to noncompliance with the hijab regulations. The hijab laws in Tehran’s shops and companies should be strictly enforced, Iranian officials urged labour unions last week.
Last month, female students who were “improperly” veiled were warned they would be denied admission to Tehran University. Meanwhile, local media reported that about 50 students were denied admission to Urmia University in the northwest for disobeying the hijab regulations.
Rights advocates claim that since September, more than 500 protestors have died, including 71 kids. There have been about 20,000 arrests. According to the judiciary, at least four people have been hanged.
A Basij paramilitary force militia member was killed by 22-year-old karate champion Karami and Hosseini, who were both found guilty. According to Amnesty International, the court that found Karami guilty used coerced confessions. As per Hosseini’s attorney, his client was tortured.
On Dec. 8 and 12, two more people were put to death, respectively. According to social media posts, the five female activists who were liberated on Thursday expressed gratitude for the support of “the freedom-loving people and youths of Iran.” They stated in a statement, “The day of freedom is near.”
Also Read: Iranian Prosecutors Hide Rape by Revolutionary Guards