A Detailed Report On What’s Happening Inside Iran (Part I)
Everything started on September 13th, with Mahsa Amini’s death. Mahsa was a poor girl who just wanted to have fun on her way to Tehran (Iran’s capital city), but she ended up in a coma after a run-in with the morality police for violating Hijab laws. The police blows to her head caused a concussion, and she went into a coma. The morality officer repeatedly hit her head against the car. It only took two hours for her to be arrested and admitted to the hospital.
When Mahsa was in a coma, Iranian celebrities began to respond to the tragedy. We are complicit in this crime by remaining silent, said Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi. Famous cartoonists such as Mana Neyestani used this outrage to express their opposition to such a violent crime.
The Death of Masha Amini and its aftermath
Following the news of Mahsa Amini’s death in Kasra hospital, security forces were stationed in front of the hospital to prevent crowds from forming. Many citizens, however, gathered in front of Kasra Hospital and clashed with security forces. The next morning, pictures posted on social media from the streets surrounding the hospital revealed the security atmosphere and how the police forbade entry into the hospital’s street.
Security forces also detained Ms. Leila Mirghafari, a civil activist and former political prisoner, during a rally in front of the hospital. Ms. Mirghafari has a number of injuries as a result of what happened to her while she was imprisoned, and doctors have warned her that any stress will cause her to have a seizure.
September 16th: A Nationwide Protest Started in Iran
On September 16th, people gathered in Tehran’s Argentina Square and chanted “Death to Khamenei” (supreme leader of Iran).
One day after the news of Mahsa Amini’s death was confirmed, she was buried in an atmosphere of tight security amid the citizen’s outrage and grief. Her body was transported from Tehran to her hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province, where she was buried in the Aichi cemetery. Videos from Mahsa Amini’s funeral showed that a large crowd had gathered for the ceremony, and slogans with the theme “Death to the dictator” were chanted.
Protesters were attacked in the city of Saqez.
According to the “He Negav” Human Rights Organization, which covers news about human rights violations in Kurdistan, security forces attempted to prevent the crowd from reaching Mahsa Amini’s burial site by blocking the roads leading to Saqez city. Following Mahsa Amini’s burial, thousands of Saqez protesters gathered in front of the city governor. During this rally, security forces intervened and fired at the protesters.
At the outset of Saqez Republic Street, some protesters kicked the banner with Khamenei’s picture on it. A number of Saqhezi women removed their headscarves in protest. Protesters also chanted in Kurdish, “Death to the government’s mercenaries!”
On the same day, protests reached Sanandaj (one of the biggest cities in Kurdistan). Sanandaj’s women resisted the Islamic Republic’s special mission unit by sitting on the ground. These protesters were targeted with tear gas by security forces.
This campaign was announced in protest of oppression and inequality against women by the page of Pelke Zarineh, the page of Kurdish women’s rights activists and queers, and the page administrators were the first to publish a video of themselves burning their headscarves in protest.
September 18th: Uprising at Tehran University
On September 18th, students at Tehran University demonstrated against the murder of Mahsa Amini. This gathering at Tehran University comes after years of suffocation and repression. The uprising was unprecedented in recent years.
On the same day, at least 33 people were injured by direct fire from Special Forces, with five of them being transferred to Tabriz (a city in northwest Iran) medical centers due to their deteriorating physical condition.
The 23-year-old Parsa Sehat, 18-year-old Nechirvan Maroufi, and Kian Derakhshan, along with two other people, were injured in the eye area by the fowling-pieces. They were taken to Tabriz Medical Center due to their serious physical condition.
September 19th: Shut down of businesses, internet disrupted, protesters violently attacked by special forces
Special Forces water canons were seen attacking protesters with boiling water in Sanandaj.
On September 19, protesters shut down all businesses in Bukan, Marivan, Baneh, Dehgolan, and Mahabad (Cities of Kurdistan). On the same day, there was a real conflict in Divandarreh (another city in Kurdistan). Mohsen Mohammadi and Fawad Ghadimi were two young men who died in Divandarreh as a result of the severity of their injuries. The movement of citizens to Sanandaj and Divandarreh hospitals was also restricted by security and law enforcement forces, and no one was allowed to enter or leave.
Following a protest against the killing of Mahsa Amini on September 19th, an elderly woman from Mahabad was shot by this city’s special forces, and her current condition was reported to be critical.
Rabwar Kamranipour and Amjad Saedi, two civil activists from Marivan, were arrested and taken to an unknown location during the protests in Marivan. However, protesters in Rasht could push back security forces.
According to reports, mobile internet was completely cut off in Sanandaj city, and home internet was extremely slow in many areas. Several internet businesses that were involved in the design, production, and sale of various shawls and scarves announced that they would no longer offer such products to their customers in protest of Mahsa Amini’s murder.
Ali Karimi, a former Iranian football star who has not remained silent since the murder of Mahsa Amini, wrote: “Now we are hypocrites or your parents?” after publishing images of girls and boys killed by Islamic Republic security agents, as well as the “children” of the regime’s leaders.
People in Tehran shut down the streets on September 19, the fourth day of the uprising, and chanted in unison, “I will kill, I will kill anybody my sister kills.”
Alia Matalzadeh, a female journalist, documentary filmmaker, and vice president of the “Defense of Press Freedom” association who is incarcerated in Evin prison’s (women’s prison), sent a note outside the prison stating that a memorial service for Mahsa Amini was held in the courtyard of the women’s prison at the same time as nationwide rallies in Iran. The presence of “forty female political prisoners” has been announced.
Iranians in different countries of the world supported the uprising of the Iranian people. The lawyer Melika Gharagozlu, a female student of Allameh Tabataba’i University who protested against the mandatory hijab, announced that she was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison and social exclusion.
The students of Amirkabir University and Allameh Tabataba’i University joined the students of Tehran University and started a rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini. The students were chanting: “Killing for a scarf; how long will such a massacre last?” and “Blood all over Iran, from Kurdistan to Tehran“. Demonstrations these days have spread throughout the cities of Iran. Protesters overturned a police car in Tehran.
September 20th: Hijabs are burnt in an Act of Defiance.
On September 20, students at Shahid Beheshti University set fire to their scarves in protest of Mahsa Amini’s death.
September 21st: Hadis Najafi Shot Dead With 6 Bullets
In recent days, a picture of a girl with light hair tying her hair back to the camera to join the fight with security personnel has been circulated on social media. Hadis Najafi, 20, reportedly died after being taken to Qaem Hospital in Karaj on September 21 after being shot six times by security forces in the abdomen, neck, heart, and hand.
In a conversation with Masih Alinejad, Hadith’s sister confirmed the news of her death and announced: “She was only 20 years old.” Her heart was broken for Mahsa Amini, and she said that she would not be shot. They killed her with six bullets. “
My experience in Iran
It was Wednesday afternoon. I was walking down the Mirzadeh Eshghi street of Hamedan city (in the western region of Iran) when I saw a crowd of young people chanting “Toop, Tank, Feshfeshe, Akhond Bayad Gom Beshe”, meaning “Cannon, Tank, Sparkler, Mullah must get away”. Suddenly, the special unit mission attacked, and I jumped into a shopping store where I witnessed what was happening. One of the security forces bent on its knees and shot the protestors. I do not know if it was a real gun or fowling pieces, but the shooting lasted for a long time. I saw girls who were beaten by batons.
Later, I could leave the store, and I went to another street called Armagah Bu Ali Sina. The sound of shooting was non-stop there. There was a thick fog of tear gas in the sky. I had to go a long way to reach home. Many streets were closed. I know that some people were killed in Hamedan and their families even had problems receiving their dead bodies.
A young man called Ghadimi, who was not even a protester and was passing through the street, was shot and sent to eternity by the special mission unit. Hamedani people also chanted “our shame, our shame is our scoundrel police”.
So Far, Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, tortured, and many have been killed in Iran.
Evin Rasti, one of the female activists defending women’s rights in Marivan, has been arrested. Yalda Moayeri, a famous female news photographer and a member of the Iranian Press Photographers Association, was also arrested during the protests on Tuesday, the 20th of September in Tehran, and was taken to Qarchak prison in the south of Tehran.
On September 21, in the Amol (a city in the north of Iran) protests, 11 people were killed and 56 people were arrested. The evidence shows that a large number of citizens and students have been violently arrested around Iran.
“Niloufar Hamedi”, a female journalist for Shargh newspaper, has been arrested.
On May 8, Niloufar Hamedi published a video of a police officer shooting a couple in Tehran’s Pardisan Park. In an interview with Mrs. Hamedi, the couple later disclosed that the police accused them of “revealing hijab and disobedience.” It is unclear on what grounds this journalist was arrested, but according to Iranian reports, security forces apprehended Ms. Hamedi at her residence in Tehran on September 22nd.
Mrs. Hamedi was among the first to arrive after learning of Mahsa Amini’s transfer to Kasra Hospital in Tehran. This arrest took place as the nationwide protests in different cities of Iran entered their sixth day and the government was trying to prevent the spread of news and the protests by disrupting the internet.
“Ali Mozaffari”, a player of the Saipa volleyball team, was killed in the protests on September 22nd in Quchan.
On September 22nd, during the protests, a 23-year-old woman named Hanane Kia was shot dead by security officers. Another tragic event that occurred on September 22nd was the murder of football player Maziar Salmanian in Rasht city. One of Hananeh’s relatives announced the news that she was killed during the protests in Nowshahr, Iran.
A young man named “Erfan Rezaei” was killed in the protests of the people of Amol city on the 22nd of September. A video shows that the officers of the special unit stripped the protesters in Tehran. The people of Tehran chanted that this year is the year of blood; Seyyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown.
Narges Hosseini, a girl who took off her hijab, was also arrested in Kashan city.
In a video published on the 23rd of September, a military force of the Islamic Republic of Iran shoots at the protesters with a Kalashnikov.
In the Kurdish city of Oshnavieh in Azerbaijan, Iran, the city was captured by the people, and the officers of the special unit succeeded in recapturing the city using tanks and military operations. According to the people of the city, the police are present in pharmacies and arrest anyone who comes to buy bandages and painkillers.
In Qom, people threw Molotov cocktails at the security forces. Sajjad Steki said goodbye to the national handball team in support of the Iranian people.
Alireza Ghamgosar, an incoming student of Kashan University’s archeology department in 2019, who was arrested in the first days of nationwide protests by Iranian citizens in Rasht city, has been injured in the detention center.
Following the continuation of protests in different cities in Iran, the wave of resignations and termination of cooperation of academic figures, athletes, and artists from working with various institutions of the Islamic Republic continues.
Among the academic figures, Leyli Galeh Daran, a professor at Shiraz Art University, resigned in response to the student’s demands. In a letter addressed to the head of Shiraz University of Arts, she wrote that “she is hurt by what has happened to Iran, and he has suffered for eight years.”
Razieh Janbaz, a player on the Iranian women’s handball team, resigned from the Iranian national handball team by publishing a message on her Instagram page.
In an emotional message, she wrote: “I stand up in honor of the great soul of my sister #Mahsa_Amini and all the girls of my land who no one heard their voices. Now both the voice and walking with the people are more obligatory than any duty.”
Also Read: What’s Happening Inside Iran (Part II)
The article is authored by an Iranian women’s rights activist and writer who lives in Iran.