Protests across Iran into third week after Mahsa Amini’s death

The demonstrations have become the biggest show of opposition to Iran's clerical authorities since 2019

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Protesters rallied across Iran and strikes were reported throughout the country's Kurdish region on Saturday as demonstrations in response to the death of a woman in police custody entered their third week.

The protests, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iranian Kurdistan, have become the biggest show of opposition to Iran's clerical authorities since 2019, with dozens killed in unrest.

At least 92 people have been killed nationwide in the crackdown, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) NGO said on Sunday.

"The international community has a duty to investigate this crime and prevent further crimes from being committed by the Islamic Republic," said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

Its previous toll had said 83 people were confirmed to have been killed in the protests.

People demonstrated in London, Rome, Madrid and other western cities in solidarity with Iranian protesters, holding pictures of Amini, who died three days after she was arrested by the morality police for “unsuitable attire”.

In Iran, social media posts showed rallies in cities including Tehran, Isfahan, Rasht and Shiraz.

In Tehran's traditional business district of Bazaar, anti-government protesters chanted “We will be killed one by one if we don't unite”, while elsewhere they blocked a main road with a fence torn from the central reservation, videos shared by the widely followed Tavsir1500 Twitter account showed.

Students demonstrated at universities, and dozens were detained at Tehran University. The semi-official Fars news agency said some protesters were arrested in a square near the university.

A a police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country's conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran.  AP

The protests began at Amini's funeral on September 17 and spread to Iran's 31 provinces, with all layers of society, including ethnic and religious minorities, taking part and many demanding supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's departure.

Purported CT scan images of Amini showed a bone fracture, haemorrhage and brain edema, Iran International, a Persian-language television station based in London, reported.

Iran International said it received the medical documents and dozens of exclusive images from a hacktivist group which showed Amini suffered a fracture on the right side of her head caused by severe trauma.

Hundreds injured

Amnesty International has said a government crackdown on demonstrations has so far led to the deaths of at least 52 people, with hundreds injured. Rights groups said dozens of campaigners, students and artists have been detained.

Iran's currency neared historic lows reached in June as Iranians bought dollars to protect their savings, amid little hope Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers would be revived and concerns over the economic consequences of the unrest.

The rial fell to 331,200 to the dollar, compared with 321,200 on Friday, according to the foreign exchange site Bonbast.com.

The currency had plummeted to an all-time low of 332,000 per dollar on June 12.

Iranian authorities said many members of the security forces have been killed, accusing the US of exploiting the unrest to try to destabilise Iran.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said four members of its forces and the volunteer Basij militia were killed on Friday in attacks in Zahedan, the capital of the south-eastern Sistan and Baluchestan province.

Updated: October 02, 2022, 11:16 AM
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