Iranian security forces detain father of Mahsa Amini on anniversary of 22-year-old’s death in police custody that sparked furious protests over women’s rights in the country
Iranian security forces briefly detained the father of Mahsa Amini on Saturday, a year after her death in police custody set off some of the biggest protests over women’s rights in the country’
Arrests of several ‘counter revolutionaries’ and ‘terrorists’ in different Iranian cities and security forces had stopped plots to create disturbances around illegal demonstrations, State-affiliated media claimed.
The September 16, 2022 death of Mahsa Amini – a 22-year-old Kurdish woman arrested by the morality police last year for allegedly flouting mandatory dress codes – triggered months of some of the biggest protests against the Islamic Republic’s Shi’ite clerical rule ever seen and drew international condemnation.
On Saturday, the first anniversary of her death, a massive security force presence was deployed in Iran’s mostly Kurdish areas in anticipation of unrest, according to human rights groups.
In Amini’s home town of Saqez, in northwestern Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that police using a pellet gun shot had seriously injured a man who ‘ignored a police warning’. It said the man was in an intensive care ward after undergoing an operation.
The death of Masha Amini, 22, sparked worldwide protests – but the Iranian government vowed not to back down
Women burnt their headscarves in Kurdish-controlled north-east Syria. Protests spread across the Middle East and the West since the death of Masha Amini
Amini died in custody after not observing Iran’s ultra-conservative dress code, which caused outrage across the country and beyond
Footage on social media showed apparent protests in areas including Gohardasht, a neighbourhood of the city of Karaj west of the capital Tehran, and in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
One video posted on social media showed a group of demonstrators in Gohardasht chanting ‘We are a great nation, and will take back Iran’ while drivers honked their horns and shouted encouragement. The video could not immediately be authenticated.
Mahsa’s father, Amjad Amini, was warned against marking the anniversary of his daughter’s death before being released, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network said. Iran’s official IRNA news agency denied that Amjad Amini was arrested, but it did not say if he was briefly detained or warned.
Earlier, social media and reports by rights groups spoke of security forces taking up positions around Amini’s home in Saqez, in western Iran.
In a statement on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said: ‘Mahsa’s story did not end with her brutal death. She inspired a historic movement ‘Woman, Life, Freedom ‘ that has impacted Iran and influenced people across the globe.’
Britain on Friday imposed sanctions on four Iranian officials and the United States said it was sanctioning more than two dozen individuals and entities connected to Iran’s ‘violent suppression’ of protests.
Amini’s parents had said in a statement earlier this week that, despite government warnings, they would hold a ‘traditional and religious anniversary ceremony’ at their 22-year-old daughter’s grave in Saqez, according to social media posts.
Widespread strikes were reported in multiple cities in Iran’s Kurdistan region.
Women cut their hair in protest to the Iranian government following Amini’s death
Images showed women climbing on top of cars and tearing off their hijabs in defiance of the regime, with police nowhere to be seen
In this image taken on Sept. 19, 2022, a police motorcycle and a trash bin are burning during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini
People are pictured burning the Iranian flag in after the death of the 22-year-old Amini
500 people were killed and hundreds more were injured during the regimes crack down on protests
A huge line of people were seen blocking roads into Saqez, Amini’s hometown
Young women led the charge in daily protests that have endured for more than a month, burning their hijab headscarves and confronting security forces
However, IRNA said Amini’s hometown of Saqez was ‘completely quiet’ and that calls for strike in Kurdish areas had failed due to ‘people’s vigilance and the presence of security and military forces’.
It quoted an official in the Kurdistan province as saying: ‘A number of agents affiliated with counter-revolutionary groups who had planned to create chaos and prepare media fodder were arrested in the early hours of this morning.’
In the protests that followed Amini’s death more than 500 people, including 71 minors, were killed, hundreds injured and thousands arrested, according to local rights groups
Iran carried out seven executions linked to the unrest.
In a report last month, Amnesty International said Iranian authorities ‘have been subjecting victims’ families to arbitrary arrest and detention, imposing cruel restrictions on peaceful gatherings at grave sites, and destroying victims’ gravestones’.
Many journalists, lawyers, activists, students, academics, artists, public figures and members of ethnic minorities accused of links with the protest wave, as well as relatives of protesters killed in the unrest, have been arrested, summoned, threatened or fired from jobs in the past few weeks, according to Iranian and Western human rights groups.
Iran’s Etemad daily reported in August that the lawyer for Amini’s family also faced charges of ‘propaganda against the system’. If convicted, Saleh Nikbakht faces a jail sentence of between one and three years.
The 22-year-olds death sparked some of the biggest protests since the fall of the Shah in 1979.