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‘Beginning of the end’: Iran activists call for mass protests

‘Beginning of the end’: Iran activists call for mass protests

IRAN: Iranian activists called for fresh nationwide protests on Saturday (Oct 15) over the death of Mahsa Amini, as the movement entered its fifth week despite a crackdown that has killed dozens.


By AFP

Saturday 15 October 2022, 11:30AM


Activists in Iran call for more protests as demonstrations enter fifth week. Photo: AFP

Activists in Iran call for more protests as demonstrations enter fifth week. Photo: AFP

Outrage over the 22-year-old’s death on Sept 16, three days after she was arrested by Iran’s notorious morality police, has fuelled the biggest wave of street protests and violence seen in the country for years.

At least 108 people have been killed in the Amini protests, and at least 93 more have died in separate clashes in Zahedan, capital of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

There were fewer reports of people taking to the streets over Amini’s death on Friday, but hundreds of men were seen protesting after weekly prayers in Zahedan, in online videos verified by AFP.

They have called on people across Iran to show up at spots where the security forces are not present and to chant “Death to the dictator”.

In response, one of Iran’s main revolutionary bodies, the Islamic Development Coordination Council, has called on people to join a counter-demonstration after evening prayers on Saturday to “express their revolutionary anger against sedition and rioters”.

The bloody crackdown has drawn international condemnation and new sanctions on Iran from Britain, Canada and the United States.

US President Joe Biden on Friday said he is “stunned” by the mass protests in Iran and that the US stands with that country’s “brave women”.

The US president said at a college in Irvine, California, during an address to a group of protesters holding “Free Iran” signs: “I want you to know that we stand with the citizens, the brave women of Iran.”

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“It stunned me what it awakened in Iran. It awakened something that I don’t think will be quieted for a long, long time.”

Iran “has to end the violence against its own citizens simply exercising their fundamental rights,” he added.

On Friday, his government condemned French President Emmanuel Macron for remarks in which he expressed solidarity with the protests sparked over Amini’s death.

He said it was “surprising” that France was condemning Iran’s security forces for dealing with "violent people and rioters” when it was threatening to use force in response to “labour strikes in the oil and gas sector” at home.

In response to the protests, the security forces have carried out a campaign of mass arrests that has netted young activists, journalists, students and even minors.

In a rare show of accountability, the Tehran police department said Friday that it would investigate the conduct of an officer following allegations of harassment during the arrest of a woman protesting Amini’s death.

Some voices of support for the protesters have come from inside the country.

The Iranian authorities have organised their own rallies attended by women clad in black chadors, garments that cover their heads and bodies.

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Pooliekev | 15 October 2022 - 14:21:53

Amerikan faeces stirring again. Will it ever cease?

 

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