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Rallies held worldwide in solidarity with Iran protests over death of Mahsa Amini

Iran says 9 foreign nationals arrested at demonstrations, along with 256 members of outlawed opposition groups; rights groups say over 80 killed in crackdown

  • Woman pose with locks of their own hair after cutting them during a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
    Woman pose with locks of their own hair after cutting them during a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
  • An Iranian woman cuts a lock of her hair during a rally against the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini, in front of the Chilean Human Rights Institute building in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
    An Iranian woman cuts a lock of her hair during a rally against the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini, in front of the Chilean Human Rights Institute building in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
  • A rally in solidarity with protestors in Iran, October 1, 2022 (Times of Israel staff)
    A rally in solidarity with protestors in Iran, October 1, 2022 (Times of Israel staff)
  • People stage a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
    People stage a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
  • People chant slogans and hold the pictures of Mahsa Amini during the 'Freedom rally for Iran' event in Shibuya district of Tokyo on October 1, 2022 (Philip FONG / AFP)
    People chant slogans and hold the pictures of Mahsa Amini during the 'Freedom rally for Iran' event in Shibuya district of Tokyo on October 1, 2022 (Philip FONG / AFP)
  • People protest against the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died while in police custody in Iran, in front of the Iranian embassy in Bucharest, Romania, Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
    People protest against the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died while in police custody in Iran, in front of the Iranian embassy in Bucharest, Romania, Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
  • People stage a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran. (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
    People stage a protest on October 1, 2022 in Rome, following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran. (Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
  • People chant slogans and hold the pictures of Mahsa Amini during the 'Freedom rally for Iran' event in Shibuya district of Tokyo on October 1, 2022 (Philip FONG / AFP)
    People chant slogans and hold the pictures of Mahsa Amini during the 'Freedom rally for Iran' event in Shibuya district of Tokyo on October 1, 2022 (Philip FONG / AFP)
  • Iranians nationals protest against the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini, in front of the Chilean Human Rights Institute building in Santiago, Chile,  Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Esteban Felix))
    Iranians nationals protest against the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini, in front of the Chilean Human Rights Institute building in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Esteban Felix))
  • Activists participate in a demonstration on the Place de la Republique in Paris, on September 30, 2022, to support Iranian women following the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman (Thomas SAMSON / AFP)
    Activists participate in a demonstration on the Place de la Republique in Paris, on September 30, 2022, to support Iranian women following the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman (Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

PARIS — Iranians based abroad and their supporters gathered in cities around the world Saturday in solidarity with protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s notorious morality police.

A wave of street violence has rocked Iran since Amini, 22, died days after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Protests were held across Iran for a 15th consecutive night on Friday, despite a bloody crackdown that a rights group says has claimed more than 80 lives.

“Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator,” they chanted in the streets of Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, in Kurdistan province.

Riot police massed Saturday at major intersections in Tehran, amid reports of demonstrations at universities to seek the release of arrested students.

The 1500tasvir social media channel shared video footage of large demonstrations in the capital, as well as the shrine city of Mashhad and Kermanshah in the west.

Demonstrations in support of the movement are being held meanwhile in 159 cities across the globe — from Auckland to New York and Seoul to Zurich, according to the Iranians for Justice and Human Rights group.

“Be our voice,” was the catchcry of a protest in the eastern Australian city of Brisbane, where organizers said thousands from the Iranian diaspora demanded freedoms in their homeland.

In Tokyo, demonstrators waved pictures of Amini and other women who defiantly burned their headscarves and cut their hair during the Iranian protests.

People chant slogans and hold pictures of Mahsa Amini during the ‘Freedom rally for Iran’ event in Shibuya district of Tokyo on October 1, 2022 (Philip FONG / AFP)

Arrest of foreigners

The protests flared in Iran on September 16, when Amini was pronounced dead three days after falling into a coma following her arrest.

Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group says at least 83 people have been killed in the crackdown. Amnesty International says it has confirmed 52 fatalities, while Iran’s Fars news agency has put the death toll at “around 60.”

It is the bloodiest unrest in Iran since a ruthless crackdown on demonstrations in November 2019 over a sudden hike in fuel prices which killed at least 304 people, according to Amnesty.

Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas on Friday to try to disperse demonstrations in various cities and towns across the country.

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, protesters chant slogans during a protest over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in downtown Tehran, Iran, September 21, 2022. (AP)

Iran’s intelligence ministry said “nine foreign nationals,” including from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, were arrested “at or behind the scene of riots,” along with 256 members of outlawed opposition groups.

Unrest also erupted on Friday in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said two of its colonels were killed, bringing the overall toll to 20 dead during the clashes in which three police stations were attacked.

Outside forces

“Several chain stores were looted and set on fire, and a number of banks and government centers were also damaged,” said Sistan-Baluchestan governor Hossein Khiabani.

Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchestan is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups.

Iran has blamed outside forces for the nationwide protests.

On Wednesday, the Revolutionary Guards launched cross-border missile and drone strikes that killed 14 people in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, accusing rebel groups in the region of fueling the unrest.

Smoke billows in the village of Zrgoiz, near Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, where the bases of several Iranian opposition groups are located, September 28, 2022. (AP PhotoAla Hoshyar, Metrography)

The US said one of its citizens was killed in the strikes.

Amnesty said Iran was intentionally using lethal force to crush the women-led protests.

It said it had obtained a leaked document issued to armed forces commanders in all provinces on September 21 ordering them to “severely confront” protesters.

Another leaked document showed the commander in Mazandaran province told forces to “confront mercilessly, going as far as causing deaths, any unrest by rioters and anti-revolutionaries.”

Fifty-four countries signed a statement “urging Iran to stop using force against peaceful protesters,” the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, tweeted.

The warning comes as Iran presses ahead with an intensifying crackdown that has seen the arrest of many journalists, activists and other prominent figures.

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