On the anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, attempts to honor her memory were brutally pacified in many Iranian cities. Reuters and human rights organizations report detentions, beatings and cases of opening fire with pellet guns by the security services. Amini’s death after her arrest by the morality police has been sparking public protests in Iran for a year now.
Iranian state media reported on Saturday the arrests of “counter-revolutionaries” and “terrorists” in various cities of the country. They reported that security forces foiled plots to foment riots around illegal demonstrations. “Security forces have arrested several members of a terrorist group that wanted to murder Amjad Amini, the father of Mahsa Amini,” IRNA reported, quoting the deputy governor of Kurdistan Province, Mehdi Ramezani.
Ramezani added that this attack was “thwarted”, without giving details about this “terrorist group”. IRNA says the attempted attack occurred when Amjad Amini was visiting his daughter’s grave at a cemetery in the city of Saghghez in Kurdistan Province.
Arrest of Mahsa Amini’s father
Meanwhile, according to Reuters and defense organizations human rights, Amjad Amini was detained on Friday so that he could not keep vigil at his daughter’s grave. On that day, social media and reports from human rights groups also spoke of security forces surrounding the Amini family’s home in Saghghez.
The Iranian authorities placed most opposition groups under police surveillance, yet human rights organizations reported actions opposing the ayatollahs’ regime in many parts of the country. Footage appeared on social media showing residents of Tehran shouting “Death to the dictator!” against Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as protests in Gohardasht, the city of Karaj west of Tehran, and Mashhad in the northeast.
The human rights group Hengaw reported an attack by security forces in the Kurdish city of Mahabad, which opened fire, injuring at least one person. Several demonstrators were also injured in the city of Kermanshah. In Saghghez, Mahsa Amini’s hometown – as reported by the Fars agency – police used pellet guns, seriously injuring a man who “ignored a police warning”.
On Saturday, IRNA also reported a fire in the ward for women awaiting death sentences in Qarchak prison in Tehran province. The Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported that the incident was related to anti-government protests, special forces entered the prison ward, beat the women, and officers shot them with pellets.
Hundreds of victims, thousands of arrests
According to estimates by human rights organizations, over 500 people have been killed, including 71 minors, hundreds have been injured and thousands have been arrested in demonstrations that have taken place over the last 12 months following the death of Mahsa Amini. Seven executions were carried out in connection with the riots.
Mahsa Amini died on September 16, 2022, in a hospital in Tehran, where she was transferred after being arrested by the morality police for allegedly failing to wear the hijab in accordance with government standards.
Main photo source: ERDEM SAHIN/PAP/EPA