A Detailed Report On What’s Happening Inside Iran (Part II)
The Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, has launched a campaign to arrest Ali Karimi (former football star) and confiscate his property. One of the representatives of the Islamic Council in Iran described the protesters as “troublemakers” and “lusty people who seek prostitution and lewdness in society” and said, “They will be stopped.”
Mohammad Nabavian also said, “These scum on the water and these impurities that sometimes affect the Iranian nation will be thrown away.” Following the widespread wave of support for the nationwide strike of students and academics in Iran, Nasrullah Hekmat, a professor of Islamic philosophy at Shahid Beheshti University, announced that he would not attend any classes in solidarity with the student protests.
The IRGC ground forces attacked the headquarters of the Kurdish groups with artillery units and drones and used “smart” and “point-of-care” weapons. Kurdistan regional media have also confirmed the attack on the mountainous areas of Barbezin, Saqez. These attacks took place on the 11th day of popular protests in Iran and after that, on Saturday in Erbil and on Sunday in Sulaymaniyah of the Kurdistan Region, rallies were held in solidarity with the popular uprising in Iran and the condemnation of Mahsa Amini’s murder.
On September 27, the forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran fired aerial shots in Ekbatan, Tehran, to prevent citizens from chanting slogans.
Some news sources in Tehran published the news of the arrest of “Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani”, a female political activist and the daughter of “Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani”, the former president. She is a former member of parliament and one of the critics of the mandatory hijab and has spoken against it many times in cyberspace. She has been arrested before and was imprisoned during the protests against the results of the presidential election in 2008, known as the Green Movement.
On the evening of September 27, in the Narmak area of Tehran, women and girls take off their headscarves and chant death slogans for the dictator along with men. Protesters in Sanandaj chant “woman, life, freedom” on the streets. Protesters shouted slogans from the windows of houses in Amirabad, Tehran.
Protests continue in different neighbourhoods of Tehran, such as “Narmak” and “Tehranpars” in the east and “Starkhan” and “Ekbatan” in the west, according to reports. A video from Narmak has been leaked in which one of the suppression forces points a gun at children who are present in the peaceful gathering of citizens. Protests have also been ongoing in Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Zarindasht, Firozabad, and Shiraz in Fars province, Chabahar, Jam city in Bushehr province, Mashhad, and Gohardasht in Karaj province.
With the relative improvement of internet speed around Tuesday morning in the cities of Kurdistan province, videos were sent to tell about the inflammatory atmosphere and protests of the people in the cities of Baneh, Saqez and Sanandaj. According to these people, the home internet speed was so slow on Sundays and Mondays that practically no calls or messages were possible for citizens.
Reports from Tehran, Mashhad, and Tabriz also indicate that the internet was completely cut off on Sunday and Monday, and the citizens were unable to convey the sound and images of their protest to the world.
Following the death of Mahsa Amini and the start of nationwide protests against the brutal repression of protesters, the organizing council of oil contract workers’ protests issued a statement. In its statement, while emphasizing solidarity with the people of Iran, this council warned: “If the arrests, the killing of people, the oppression and harassment of women because of the hijab and the repression of the people are not ended, we will not remain silent.” Together with all the people, we will protest and shut down the work.
“We, the oil project workers, in unison with all the people in Iran, have once again expressed our anger and hatred towards the murder of Mahsa Amini, this young girl, at the hands of Ershad’s police officer, and the people’s struggle against organized violence and women, poverty and insecurity.”
Mahsa and Mahsas are our daughters and members of our family. How long will the violence against women roam the streets under the pretext of hijab? How long will you be hungry and insecure? That’s enough. Protest is the inalienable right of us workers. We are all people, and we are protesting against the oppression that has been perpetrated on us for more than forty years. We are not willing to continue tolerating this slavery and injustice.
We, the oil workers, warn that if the arrests, the killing of people, and the harassment of women because of hijab are not ended, the suppression of people is not ended, and we will not remain silent. Together with all the people, we will protest and shut down the work. Hear the message from us, workers and people. We are warning you. “
On Wednesday, September 28, the “World of Economy” newspaper wrote that there is a high probability of Instagram and WhatsApp filtering continuing in Iran.
The Attorney General of the country, Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri, issued a directive threatening the participants in the recent protests. According to this directive, the prosecutors of the country were required to detain “people who have caused martyrdom or injury to security guards and people, leaders, and people whose presence was organized” until the court is held and a final verdict is issued. In the continuation of this circular, the general prosecutors of the country have been asked to “release the students who have been involved in riots and disruption of public security inside or outside the university on bail or under temporary arrest.”
It has also been ordered that other detained students be released on bail according to the opinion of university security and according to their role and character.
In another part of the directive of the Attorney General of the country, it is stated: “People who do not have any criminal records and the expert committee has commented on their lack of role in the unrest should be released with the necessary justification and instructions.”
Earlier, President Ebrahim Raeesi had emphasized a “decisive approach” to the protests following the killing of Mahsa Amini. The Ministry of Interior also called the gatherings “illegal” and threatened the protesters. Additionally, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the Judiciary, had called for a “deterrent and immediate confrontation” with “the main disturbing and professional agitators”.
In continuation of nationwide protests in Iran on the eleventh day (September 28th), students at Shiraz Medical Faculty went on strike despite the heavy security atmosphere and were chanting slogans in the faculty. This rally was accompanied by the attack of the security forces and the arrest of a number of protesting students.
On Wednesday morning, the Pasdaran Guards attacked the central camps of Kurdish parties, including “The Kurdistan Workers’ Party”, “Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran”, “Kurdistan Party of Iran”, and “Kurdistan Freedom Party” with missiles and drones.
Fatemeh Motamed Ariya, a well-known actress in Iranian cinema, gave a speech at the funeral of Amin Tarokh (a famous male actor) without a hijab.
She said: “Everyone is in a bad mood these days.” And our situation is the worst of all. Fateme Motamed Ariya believes that at least 70 people were killed during the popular protests in Iran that began after the death of Mahsa Amini.
Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, a former political prisoner, cut her hair in a video that was published on the BBC Farsi website as a sign of solidarity with the Iranian protesters who set fire to their hijab and cut their hair after the murder of Mahsa Amini. In this video, referring to the widespread protests of the last two weeks in Iran, she says: “For my mother, for my daughter, from the fear of being alone, for the women of my country, for freedom.” Zaghari was in prison for six years in Iran on charges of “espionage”.
In this protest movement, a number of women cut their hair in front of the camera. Many women also protested against this wrong law that has been applied to oppress women in Iran for the past 43 years by removing their hijabs or burning their scarves.
The protests of this period in Iran, which were known throughout the world with the slogan “Women Live Freedom”, attracted the attention of the international community for the first time. Many political, cultural, artistic, and prominent figures in the world stood with Iranian women and announced their solidarity with them through actions similar to what Ms. Zaghri did. Sezen Aksu, Ebro Gondosh, Malek Musu were among the prominent Turkish singers who stood by the Iranians. Noam Chomsky and Margaret Atwood, two prominent figures in the world’s literature, publishing messages on social media, called for an end to the oppression of women by the Islamic Republic and an end to the forced hijab in Iran for more than four decades.
In the protests that have been going on for almost two weeks in Iran, 76 people have been killed, and hundreds of people, including several children and students, have been arrested and are in unknown places.
Also Read: What’s happening inside Iran (Part I)
The article is authored by an Iranian women’s rights activist and writer who lives in Iran.