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40 Days After Mahsa Amini’s Death, Crowds Clash at Her Tomb

Thousands of people gathered at Mahsa Amini’s gravesite in Saqqez, Kurdistan, to celebrate 40 days after her death, ISNA reported. A 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian lady died on September 16 after being detained by the “morality police” and transported to a “re-education center” for not obeying the country’s conservative dress code.

Wednesday marked 40 days since Amini’s death, a traditional day of grief in Iran and Islam. The commotion came the same day as what appeared to be a terrorist strike at the Shahcheragh Shrine in Shiraz, southern Iran. ISIS later claimed credit for the shrine bombing, saying a member “hit Sunni refusal unbelievers with his machine rifle.”

ISNA stated security personnel “did not prevent” demonstrators from visiting Amini’s cemetery in Saqqez, her birthplace, but reported skirmishes thereafter. ISNA said that there were no incidents between mourners and police at the burial location, most sang Kurdish slogans, and one raised the Kurdish flag.

In social media videos, hundreds of people and cars are seen heading to Saqqez’s Aichi cemetery where Amini is buried. People chant “women, life, freedom” and “death to this child-killing tyranny” in the footage. Other footage show smoke from adjacent fires. Gunshots echo as demonstrators march.

CNN video showed significant numbers of security personnel in Saqqez late Tuesday, as activists called for protests to mark 40 days since Amini’s death. Internet monitor Netblocks reported a near-total outage in Iran’s Kurdistan Province and Sanandaj on Wednesday. ISNA claimed that “Saqqez city’s internet was turned off due to security concerns” after “outbreaks and scattered fights.” Read more: Analysis Of Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes’ Views Regarding Crime, Inflation, and Abortion

Iran has no law that prohibits banning religious ceremonies for security reasons. The government has prohibited and criticized religious rituals citing safety concerns and asked families not to perform public mourning ceremonies. Amini’s family stated they won’t mark her death on Wednesday, according to IRNA.

Kurdish rights group Hengaw said security authorities pressured the Amini family to draft the statement and threatened to arrest Amini’s brother if the parade happened.

Mahsa Amini's Death
Mahsa Amini’s Death

Security forces shot teargas at mourners in Tehran on Wednesday after Amini’s death. Demonstrators burned trash cans and threw rocks in a social media video. Retaliating, security forces fired pellet guns. In another video, doctors, and dentists in Tehran scream “freedom, freedom, freedom!” Another video shows them getting teargas.

Video released on social media shows IRGC anti-riot units marching in Tehran as protests intensify. Earlier in the day, similar units fired on doctors protesting in Tehran, scattering the crowd. The video’s gunfire is unclear. Read more: Sandeep Dhaliwal’s Killer, an Indian-American Sikh Police Officer, Was Given the Death Penalty

The University of Ferdowsi in Mashhad, Azad University in Karaj, Tehran’s Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, and Azad University – Kerman have all seen protests. The Sharif University of Technology in Tehran said Wednesday that new student sessions will be held online until further notice owing to “persistent issues and a lack of tranquility.”

International leaders have condemned Iranian forces’ repression of nonviolent protestors. Wednesday, the US imposed fresh penalties on Iranian crackdown officials.

Two officials in Sistan and Baluchistan province, “scene of some of the worst violence in the last round of protests,” are among those targeted by sanctions, the Treasury Department said. U.S. officials believe Russia is counseling Iran on how to crack down on public protests as confrontations mark 40 days since Mahsa Amini’s death. Read more: Two Guys Charged With Arson and Mutilation in Woman’s Death Near Antioch Trail

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested Moscow may be helping Tehran how to stifle open protests. Iran’s support for Russia’s conflict with Ukraine is plain and explicit. Iran and Russia get closer as they’re isolated. Our message to Iran is clear: stop killing your people and stop supplying weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainians.

UN experts asked for a global inquiry into the crackdown. In a statement released Wednesday, the experts underlined that “an alarming number of protestors have already been jailed and killed, many of them children, women, and older adults.” They called on the government to instruct the police to stop using excessive and lethal force.

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