Protests against the Iranian regime continue for sixth day in a row

Protests began in response to the death of Mahsa Amini who died in police custody after she was arrested for not wearing her hijab properly.

 A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. (photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022.
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Large protests continued in Iran for the sixth day in a row on Saturday with protestors blocking streets in various cities across the country and reports claiming they had taken control of the city of Oshnavieh.

The protests against the government broke out both online and in the streets last week after Mahsa Amini died in police custody following her arrest by the modesty police who accused her of wearing her hijab wrong. 

After news of Amini's death broke, Iranian women took to social media, posting videos of themselves cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, and other videos posted online showed women of all ages in the streets waving their hijabs in defiance.

The protestors, which were made up of both men and women, marched through the streets, shouting out slogans like "death to the dictator" and "live free or die," blocked roads and caused damage to the security forces that tried to stop them.

 People light a fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 21, 2022 (credit: WANA VIA REUTERS) People light a fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 21, 2022 (credit: WANA VIA REUTERS)

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported a total casualty count of 35, but the precise number is unclear amid the chaos of the protests.

Iran International reported on Saturday that 739 arrests had been made in the northern city of Gilan out of which only 60 were women. Countless more arrests were made throughout the country.

"Most of the arrested people are young but many of their leaders have criminal records," Gilan police told Iran International.

Many likened the protests to those that took place in the Spring of 1979 in which more than 100,000 women took to the streets in protest of the new compulsory hijab law introduced by the new Islamic government of Iran.

"Most of the arrested people are young but many of their leaders have criminal records."

Gilan police

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday that Iran must "deal decisively with those who oppose the country's security and tranquility."

Iran is blocked from being online

In response to the protests, the Iranian government blocked the citizens' access to WhatsApp and Instagram last week and added Skype to the list on Saturday. As a result, Elon Musk announced on Friday that he would be activating SpaceX's satellite internet service Starlink in order to help keep Iranians online.

The US decided to ease some of the sanctions it has against Iran in order to help Iranians evade the censorship, a move that Iran criticized on Saturday, saying that it was in line with Washington's hostile stance against Tehran.

The Anonymous hacktivist group, whose affiliates launched a hacking operation against Iran, also shared information on Twitter on how to stay online for the Iranians.

Around the world, people marched in solidarity with the women of Iran. Large marches were held in places such as London, Oslo and Berlin on Saturday with people chanting in support of the protests in Iran.