Iran: clashes during demonstrations for the fourth week
Schoolgirls chanted slogans, workers went on strike and clashes with law enforcement erupted Saturday in Iran, where protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini entered their fourth week, according to NGOs.
Anger flared after the 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died in hospital on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by vice squad for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women, including the wearing of the veil.
In a school in Saqez, birthplace of Mahsa Amini, in the province of Kurdistan, girls chanted “Woman, life, freedom”, and in a street female protesters removed their headscarves to wave it above their heads, according to videos recorded on Saturday, human rights group Hengaw said.
“We are no longer afraid. We will fight,” reads a large banner placed on an overpass of the Modares highway that runs through central Tehran, according to online images verified by AFP.
Also , “general strikes” are taking place in Saqez, Sanandaj and Divandarreh, in the province of Kurdistan, as well as in Mahabad, in the province of West Azerbaijan, Hengaw, a NGO based in Norway, has further reported.
In Sanandaj, shots rang out during clashes between demonstrators and security forces, according to images shared by the online media 1500tasvir, which lists human rights violations.
AFP was not immediately able to verify the images of 1500tasvir.
Repression has increased since the beginning of the protest movement, the largest since protests against rising fuel prices in 2019. Internet connections in Iran are still very disrupted, with the authorities blocking WhatsApp and Instagram applications in particular.
At least 92 people have been killed since September 16, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights, based in Oslo, while an official report puts around 60 dead, including 12 members of the security forces.
The ultra-conservative president, Ebrahim Raisi, who participated Saturday in a ceremony at a university in Tehran marking the beginning of ut of the academic year, blamed the unrest on outside forces.