Iranian security forces clashed with participants in a memorial service for Mahsa Amini, according to a semi-official news agency, as thousands gathered in her hometown of Saqqez to mark 40 days since her death. .
ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday: “A limited number of people present at the Mahsa Amini memorial clashed with police forces on the outskirts of Saqqez and were dispersed. “After sporadic clashes, the internet in Saqqez was cut due to security considerations.”
Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in the capital Tehran on September 16 after being detained by the country’s ethics police for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly. Her family challenged a state investigation that blame pre-existing conditions for her death That said, it wasn’t the result of Amini getting hit by a bullet.
The first weeks of protests broke out in Saqqez, in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. Since then, they have rapidly spread across the country, persisting as severe internet restrictions remain in place.
The 40th day from someone’s funeral, known as “chehelom”, carries cultural significance in Iran and religious importance to Shia Muslims.
On Wednesday, videos circulating on social media showed large crowds marching and driving towards the Aychi cemetery in Saqqez, where Amini is laid to rest.
The people gathered included people from other cities and seemed to number in the thousands. Many people shouted “woman, life, freedom“And “freedom, freedom”, slogans have been widely used in demonstrations across Iran, as well as in solidarity demonstrations that have been held. outside the country.
Speaking from Tehran, Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said an estimated 10,000 people had come to the cemetery to pay their respects to Amini.
“Following the services, when the people dispersed, that was when disputes broke out between the people there and the security forces – so we heard that the government there decided to cut off the internet due to security considerations,” Jabbari added.
“That means almost 1.5 million people in the province of Kurdistan will not have access to the Internet in the near future.”
Earlier on Wednesday, all schools and universities across the province were ordered to close, with officials citing “increased spread of the flu”.
It is reported that celebrities such as legendary soccer player Ali Daei have come to Saqqez to pay their respects, and that the authorities have closed the roads into the city, leading people to cross the river and walk for a short distance. long way to the cemetery, all were denied. by state-affiliated media.
Esmail Zarei Kousha, the governor of Kurdistan, said on Wednesday the foreign media were trying to use Amini’s neckerchief as an excuse to sow unrest.
Iran’s foreign ministry this week impose sanctions on some Persian channels for “inciting terrorism” regarding their coverage of the protests.
In the capital Tehran, videos that went viral on social media on Wednesday appeared to show protests in several neighborhoods and universities, as well as shuttered shops.
Protests continue to be frequent on universities, with videos showing students chanting anti-establishment slogans. Government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi visited several universities this week and held “dialogue” sessions but faced disruption by pursuing students.
inside Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and other universities in the capital and other cities, male and female students stormed the cafeteria together, despite decades-long sexist restrictions. Authorities at several universities later closed dining venues entirely, resulting in students having lunch outdoors sitting side by side on the ground.
Elsewhere, a video showed a group of workers on strike at the Tehran Refinery, but a spokesman for the refinery – part of the country’s key oil sector – denied. they are protesting and say they are “dialogue with their bosses at some union-related issues”.
The Iranian authorities have not released official information, but dozens of people are believed to have been killed in the protests, and many more arrested.
Hundreds indictment has been issued against what the authorities called “riot leaders” in cities around the country. Of them Courts are being followed fast following an order from judicial director Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei earlier this month.
The ongoing protests, in addition to claims that Tehran is supplying Russia with weapons for the war in Ukraine, have also significantly increased tensions with the West, with the United St ‘ates, the European Union. , United Kingdom and Canada. impose sanctions about Iranian officials and organizations.
In response, Iran has blacklist some European officials and organizations for “inciting terrorism” on its land.