in Iran, a year of protests and fierce repression

in Iran, a year of protests and fierce repression

More than 500 deaths, at least 20,000 arrests and multiple executions… A year ago, Mahsa Amini was arrested in Iran for not having worn her veil as prescribed by the mullahs. His death, three days later, provoked a wave of indignation and demonstrations. A protest and an aspiration for more freedom bloodily repressed by the Iranian regime.

► September 13, 2022: the arrest

While walking in the streets of Tehran, Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested on September 13 by the moral police for “loosely wearing” her hijab, obligatory in the Islamic Republic of Iran. On September 16, she died in hospital after falling into a coma while in police custody. Several witnesses accuse the police of violently beating the young woman.

The next day, his funeral, in his native Kurdistan, brought together hundreds of people and turned into a political protest. Demonstrations increased over the following days, in Iranian Kurdistan but also in the heart of the capital Tehran, where Iranian women took off their veils and chanted “Woman, life, freedom!” “.

► September 21: #mahsaamini brings together Iranian women

Videos of Iranian women cutting their ponytails and burning their hijabs are flooding social media. Young women share their anger under the hashtag #mahsaamini. Faced with the protests sweeping across the country, the regime decided, on September 21, to cut off the Internet, preventing access to WhatsApp and Instagram.

In the streets, demonstrators are demanding the abolition of compulsory veiling and discrimination against women. The Basij militias and the army fired live ammunition into the crowd. The opposition NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo, reports at least 31 civilians killed by security forces.

► September 30: Black Friday

In Zahedan, capital of the province of Sistan and Baluchistan with a Sunni and Baloch majority, the military opened fire on demonstrators as they left prayers on Friday, September 30. More than 80 people, including passers-by, women and children, were killed. It is the “Black Friday” of this revolt, in reference to the sad results of the repression of the 1978 demonstrations against the Shah of Iran.

► October 26: the 40th day ritual

In early October, authorities released a report stating that Mahsa Amini’s death was linked to a brain disease and was not caused by beatings.

At the end of the mourning period in Shiite tradition, on the 40th day of Masha Amini’s death, tens of thousands of protesters gathered. More than the abolition of the compulsory veil, they denounce the regime of the mullahs.

► December 8: the start of executions

The first execution as part of the repression took place on December 8, 2022. Mohsen Shekari, a 23-year-old young man, was hanged after being accused of injuring a militiaman,

Four people were hanged in December and January, three of them in public.

► February 2023: amnesty for detainees

While 20,000 people have been arrested, according to the press agency of Iranian human rights activists Hrana, the supreme leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ali Khamenei, decides to pardon the detainees on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of February 1979.

But the demonstrators must sign a repentance agreement, and certain detainees convicted in particular of espionage, murder or intentional wounding cannot access the pardon.

► March: the case of the poisoned schoolgirls

At the beginning of March, 5,000 students were victims of toxic gas poisoning in more than 200 girls’ schools across the country. Female students had already been poisoned in December in the holy city of Qom.

While the cause remains unknown, there is speculation about the possible role of Muslim extremist groups hostile to girls’ education.

► July 16: the return of the moral police

On July 16, the 10-month anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, the mullahs’ regime announced the return of the moral police, responsible for controlling the dress of Iranian women.

“This return of the moral police shows that Tehran is afraid that the anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Amini will lead to new social movements and that the country will fall back into revolts again,”analysis from The cross Mahnaz Shirali, Iranian sociologist and political scientist, author of Window on Iran. The cry of a gagged people (Ed. Les peregrines, April 2021).

► August 27, prosecution against Mehdi Yarrahi

Iranian pop singer Mehdi Yarrahi is being prosecuted for broadcasting a song against the obligation to wear the veil. The Iranian regime announced that it was taking legal action against the singer on Sunday August 27.

Living in Tehran, he released this song and its three-minute clip on Friday in favor of “optional veil”dedicating it to “brave Iranian women” who participated in the protest movement.

► September, a new wave of arrests

As the first anniversary of the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini approaches, the authorities are increasing the number of arrests. Six people were taken into custody on Saturday September 9, suspected of planning demonstrations, according to official media.

Since the beginning of September, numerous preventive arrests have been reported, including that of Mahsa Amini’s uncle, Safa Aeli.

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