After days of protests in Iran against the customs police and against the mandatory use of the veil, this Friday (23) there were demonstrations. in favor of the regime in several cities across the country.
This Friday’s public acts were called by the authorities to defend the use of the veil.
Iranian women demonstrate in support of the regime in Tehran, on September 23, 2022 – Photo: Majid Asgaripour/Wana/Reuters
The council in charge of organizing the pro-veil fair demonstrations has classified the protesters who have taken to the streets in recent days as mercenaries, accusing them of insulting the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad, as well as having burned mosques and the flag of Iran, the report said. Go to.
- Iranian women’s revolt against the mandatory use of the Islamic headscarf
- Iran blocks access to social media over Islamic headscarf protests
An Iranian man hugs a police officer at a pro-veil protest in Tehran on September 23, 2022 – Photo: Majid Asgaripour/Wana/Reuters
Death of a young man because of the veil
The wave of demonstrations was triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who was arrested by the customs police for not wearing a veil as the authorities consider correct.
Amini was pronounced dead on 16 September, three days after being detained in Tehran by police. According to NGOs, the woman, whose name in Kurdish is Jhina, would have suffered a fatal blow to the head, a statement denied by the authorities, who announced an investigation.
The news of the death sparked widespread outrage in major cities across the country. The protests have spread to major urban centers in Iran.
Some protesters removed their hijab in defiance and burned it or symbolically cut their hair in front of the cheering crowd, according to images posted on social media.
Iran protests — Photo: Reuters
Security forces responded by shooting the crowd with rubber bullets and metal bullets, tear gas and water cannon, according to Amnesty International and other NGOs.
Internet access was restricted in a pattern of “curfew-style interruptions,” according to NetBlocks.
Instagram and WhatsApp, blocked since Wednesday, were still inaccessible this Friday.
Killed in the protests: 17 or 50?
According to official data released until Thursday, the protests left at least 17 dead, including five members of the security service.
Iran Human Rights (IHR), an NGO based in Oslo, says that number is higher, reaching 50 dead, according to the latest toll released on Friday. This NGO reported that there were protests in about 80 locations in the last week.
According to Kurdish human rights group Hengaw, security forces fired weapons at protesters during night-time clashes in the northern city of Oshnavih.
In the city of Babol, protesters set fire to a large billboard depicting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to videos shared online that could not be independently verified.
Protest for the government of Iran in Tehran on September 23, 2022 — Photo: Majid Asgaripour/Wana/Reuters
The US Treasury Department on Friday released guidance to expand the range of internet services available to Iranians despite US sanctions on the country, amid protests across Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman. years that he was in police custody.
Officials said the move would help Iranians access tools that can be used to circumvent state surveillance and censorship, but would not entirely prevent the Tehran government from using communications tools to quell dissent, as it did by cutting off internet access. for most citizens on Wednesday.
“As brave Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.
“With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people to be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to surveil and censor them.”
Adeyemo added that Washington will continue to issue guidance in the coming weeks.