Iranian protesters march in several cities in mourning for executed men


Kurdish rights group Hengaw released video of what it said was a burning roadblock in the western city of Sanandaj

Iran has seen its most widespread anti-government protests in weeks, after small crowds marched overnight in Tehran and a number of other cities.

Videos showed people chanting “Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to Khamenei” – a reference to the supreme leader.

It followed calls to mark the 40th day of mourning for two men executed on protest-related charges, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini.

The UN said they had faced unfair trials based on coerced confessions.

Protests swept across the country in September following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.

The authorities have portrayed them as “rioters” and responded with force.

So far, at least 529 protesters have been killed and nearly 20,000 arrested, according to the Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA). Four protesters have been hanged since December, while 107 others have reportedly been sentenced to death or charged with murder.

image source, Getty Images


Seyed Mohammad Hosseini and Mohammad Mehdi Karami were hanged on 7 January

Footage posted on social media showed small protests taking place on Thursday evening in several parts of the capital Tehran, as well as in nearby Karaj, the eastern city of Mashhad, the central city of Isfahan, the northern cities of Qazvin and Rasht, and the western cities of Arak, Izeh and Sanandaj.

Opposition activist collective 1500 Tasvir, meanwhile, shared a video from Mashhad in which a group of men and women are seen shouting: “My martyred brother, we will avenge your blood.”

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Although street protests have subsided recently, activists often share videos in which people are heard chanting anti-government slogans at night or are seen spray-painting graffiti. Women also continue to be depicted refusing to comply with the strict hijab laws in public places.

video caption,

Watch: Iranian couples dance in the streets of Tehran

Meanwhile, state media reported that a court had sentenced a police chief accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in Chabahar, in Sistan-Baluchistan province, to 15 months in prison.

The alleged rape sparked mass protests in the provincial capital Zahedan in late September. At least 66 people were killed when security forces responded by firing live ammunition and metal pellets, according to Amnesty International.

The police chief, Colonel Ebrahim Kochakzai, was convicted of creating an atmosphere of distrust in the police, producing fake meeting minutes, canceling orders and making threats, state media said.

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