In Iran, security forces open fire on protesters after paying tribute to Mahsa Amini.

On Wednesday, Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters gathered in Mahsa Amini’s hometown of Chakvez, where thousands of people attended an event celebrating the end of 40 days of traditional mourning. Security forces fired tear gas at people in Jindan Square in Western Kurdistan province, Kurdish rights group Hengao said on Twitter from Norway-based Iran.

Defying a beefed-up security system, men and women gathered around the young woman’s grave at Sakas’ Aichi Cemetery, chanting “woman, life, freedom” or “death to the dictator,” according to videos posted on social media. The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died on September 16, three days after he was arrested in Tehran by morality police who accused him of violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, particularly imposing the veil on women.

His death sparked an unprecedented three-year wave of protests across Iran. Young women and schoolgirls took to the front lines, many bare-handed, burning their veils and defying security forces. On Wednesday, Iran’s judiciary announced the indictment of more than 300 people, bringing the number of official charges linked to the protests to more than a thousand. As of Tuesday evening, the authorities had reinforced their device in Saqqez. Access to the city will also be restricted.

read more: Mahza Amini’s cousin: “His death taught me not to be afraid”

“Year of Blood”

ISNA news agency reported that “Internet was cut in Saqqez for security reasons following tensions and scattered clashes after the ceremony.” Security forces have warned the young woman’s parents against organizing a memorial service at her grave, going to the extent of threatening “their son’s life”, according to human rights activists. According to the Iranian agency Fars, about 2,000 people gathered at the cemetery.

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Images posted online by activists and human rights defenders showed dense crowds in cars and motorcycles, walking through fields and roads or crossing rivers. According to pictures posted online by Henga, people clapped, shouted and chanted along the road that connects Sackes to the cemetery, eight kilometers away. “This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali will be overthrown,” a group chanted in a video authenticated by AFP, referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to Henga, in several cities of Kurdistan, “Sanandaj, Chaquez, Divantarre, Marivan and Kamyaran, strikes are widely followed”. The situation is similar in Javanrud and Ravanser in Kermanshan province.

According to Henga, two Iranian football figures, legendary striker Ali Dei and goalkeeper Hamed Lakh, visited Chakvez for the Mahza Amini tribute ceremony. Henggao said they were “transferred to a government guest house…under the protection of security forces”.

read more: “Iran’s Kurdish Cities First to Enter Turmoil”

New events

According to the Hammihan newspaper, the governor of Kurdistan, Esmail Sarei Koosha, assured that Ali Dei and other dignitaries were in Tehran and that “everything was calm in Saghez”. “The enemy and its media (…) are trying to use the 40th day of Mahza Amini’s death as an excuse to rekindle tensions,” the governor was quoted by the official IRNA agency as saying. According to Henga, much of Chaquez was “empty” on Wednesday as many residents went to the cemetery.

New demonstrations, particularly in Tehran, Mashhad (northeast) and Ahvaz (southwest) universities, reported 1500tasvir, an online media outlet that charts human rights violations by security forces. At least 141 people, including children, have died in the crackdown on protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR). UN human rights experts called for an “immediate end to the use of excessive and deadly force” against protesters, calling for “a thorough and independent investigation and holding those responsible to account”.

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Tehran on Wednesday announced sanctions against people, companies and media in the European Union in response to punitive measures imposed by Brussels against Iranian leaders and the morality police. Berlin condemned the sanctions and said it wanted to further strengthen its ties with Iran. For its part, Washington announced sanctions targeting Iranian officials and companies, suppressing and disrupting Internet access.

read more: In Iran, “Fear Holds Us Back 43 Years”

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