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Activists in Europe mark the anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s dying in police custody in Iran

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LONDON — Lots of gathered in central London on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the dying of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian lady who died in police custody in Iran final yr, sparking worldwide protests towards the nation’s conservative Islamic theocracy.

Chanting “Girls! Life! Freedom!,” the crowds held her portrait and rallied across the reminiscence of a younger lady who died on Sept. 16, 2022, after she was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s obligatory headband regulation. Comparable protests occurred in Rome and Berlin.

In Iran, authorities sought to forestall the anniversary from reigniting the protests that gripped the nation final yr. Amini’s father was detained outdoors his dwelling after the household indicated that they deliberate to collect at her grave for a standard service of commemoration, the Kurdish rights group Hengaw stated. Folks in downtown Tehran reported a heavy safety presence, and safety forces had been seen in western Iran, the place the Kurdish minority staged giant protests final yr.

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian lady from the western area, died three days after she was arrested by morality police, allegedly for violating legal guidelines that require girls to cowl their hair in public. Whereas authorities stated that she suffered a coronary heart assault, Amini’s supporters stated she was overwhelmed by police and died because of her accidents.

Her dying triggered protests that unfold throughout the nation and quickly escalated into requires the overthrow of Iran’s four-decade-old Islamic theocracy.

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Authorities responded with a violent crackdown wherein greater than 500 folks had been killed and in extra of twenty-two,000 others had been detained, in accordance with rights teams. The demonstrations largely died down early this yr, however there are nonetheless widespread indicators of discontent. For a number of months, girls might be seen brazenly flaunting the headband rule in Tehran and different cities, prompting a renewed crackdown over the summer season.

Activists around the globe sought to resume the protests on the anniversary of Amini’s dying.

On Saturday, about 100 protesters gathered in entrance of the Iranian Embassy in Rome below the “Girls, life, freedom,” banner.

“Now it will be important that every one the world begin once more to display within the streets, as a result of what we wish is to isolate this regime and particularly we wish to push all of the states to not have political and financial agreements with Iran,” protester Lucia Massi stated.

Iran blamed final yr’s protests on america and different international powers, with out offering proof, and has since tried to downplay the unrest even because it strikes to forestall any resurgence.

The protests had been partly fueled by the widespread financial ache Iranians have suffered since then-President Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear cope with world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran. However that struggling additionally might have made it tough to maintain extended demonstrations, as many Iranians battle to make ends meet.

President Joe Biden issued a prolonged assertion on Friday acknowledging the anniversary of Amini’s dying, and america introduced new sanctions on Iranian officers and entities. U.Ok. International Secretary James Cleverly additionally famous the anniversary and imposed new sanctions on Iranian officers.

Soheila Sokhanvari, an Iranian-British artist, moved to the U.Ok. to review a yr earlier than the 1979 revolution that introduced Iran’s conservative Islamic leaders to energy. She was in London making ready for a solo exhibition on pre-revolutionary feminist icons final yr when she heard about Amini’s dying.

The protests that adopted marked the primary time the world has seen “a revolution which is instigated by girls,” she advised The Related Press earlier this month.

“However I feel what’s actually essential about this protest is that Iranian males, for the primary time within the historical past of Iran, they’re really standing with girls they usually’re supporting the ladies they usually’re exhibiting respect for the ladies,” she stated. “That’s very unique and it’s by no means occurred within the historical past of Iran.”

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