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10,000 take to the streets to commemorate hijab death

Posted October. 28, 2022 07:40,   

Updated October. 28, 2022 07:40


Iranian authorities opened fired and cracked down on 10,000 mourners who took part in anti-government protests to commemorate the 40th day following the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman died under suspicious circumstances after being arrested by the Iranian police for not wearing the hijab.

According to the semi-official Iranian state news agency ISNA, on Wednesday (local time), about 10,000 people gathered at the cemetery of Amini in the suburb of Saqqez in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan, condemning the Iranian government. It was the 40th day after Amini's death, and in Iran, a memorial ceremony is held on this day, believing that the deceased’s soul will return briefly.

On that day, mourners flocked to Amini's grave, chanting anti-government slogans such as "Woman, life and freedom” or “Death to the dictator." The site was not only crowded with people but also vehicles and motorcycles they rode. The British daily The Guardian reported, "even though the Iranian authorities warned the Amini family not to hold a memorial service on the 40th day, they did not give in and held the service."

According to foreign media, Security forces have shot teargas and opened fire on people. Norwegian-based human rights group Hengaw said security forces opened fire on Sunday, injuring about 50 people across the Saqqez province.

In addition, rallies were held simultaneously in Tehran, the Iranian capital, in Isfahan and Mashhad, in memory of Amini condemning the government. In Tehran, crowds gathered around the Grand Bazaar (traditional market) in the city’s center, chanting anti-government slogans, and many drivers watching the protests honked their horns to show their support for the protesters.

On the same day, Islamic State (IS), a Sunni extremist militant group, opened fire on the holy site of Shiite in Shiraz, Iran, killing 15 people. Iranian authorities arrested the terrorist and described him as a "takfiri terrorist." This is a term used by Iranian authorities to refer to the hardline Islamic Sunni militants.

Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has criticized anti-government protests in Iran as a pretext for terrorism in Shiraz. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi also spoke of taking countermeasures against acts of terrorism, ratcheting up tensions.

Sung-Hwi Kang yolo@donga.com