Protesters take to the streets across Iran to mark deadly 2019 crackdown

Issued on: 15/11/2022 – 17:01

This image grab from a UGC video posted on November 15, 2022, reportedly shows protesters blocking traffic in Tehran. © UGC/AFP

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Iranians took to the streets again on Tuesday after organisers of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death called for demonstrations to mark three years since a lethal crackdown on unrest sparked by a fuel price hike. 


The call to commemorate those slain in the 2019 crackdown gave new momentum to the protests that erupted following the death of 22-year-old Amini on September 16, after her arrest for allegedly flouting the strict dress code for women.

In Tehran, the din of honking car horns reverberated as protesters blocked a major roundabout at Sanat Square and yelled “Freedom, freedom”, according to online videos verified by AFP. Shops were shuttered in Tehran’s famed Grand Bazaar and its neighbourhood of Tehranpars.

‘s Mehr news agency reported that most of the bazaar’s shops were closed or closing, but quoted one merchant as saying they had shut after people who chanted slogans “threatened to burn our stores”.

People later poured onto the streets of other cities, including Bandar Abbas and Shiraz, where women were seen peacefully waving their headscarves above their heads.

The UN Human Rights Office on Tuesday called on Iran to immediately release thousands of people arrested for taking part in peaceful demonstrations and said one protester had already been . 

Spokesman Jeremy Laurence of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was calling for all charges to be dropped against the demonstrators and cautioned that Iran can only mete out the death penalty for the “most serious crimes” under international law amid concerns that some protesters could be facing capital punishment. 

“We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection to peaceful protests, and to drop the charges against them,” Laurence told reporters in Geneva.

“Human rights law protects the rights of people to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression.”

Laurence said more than 1,000 indictments had been issued against those arrested in connection with protests in Tehran province alone.

“Instead of opening space for dialogue on legitimate grievances, the authorities are responding to unprecedented protests with increasing harshness,” he said.

While one protester has been sentenced to death for “waging war against God” and “corruption on Earth” for allegedly damaging public property, at least nine others have been charged with offences carrying the death penalty.

“Crimes not resulting directly and intentionally in death can never serve as the basis for the imposition of the death penalty,” Laurence said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

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