'Freedom, Freedom, Freedom!' Protests, clashes sweep Iran as Mahsa Amini memorialized

Thousands of Iranians gathered at Mahsa Amini's grave to mark the 40th day since she was killed.

Thousands of Iranians head to Mahsa Amini's grave in Saqqez, October 26, 2022 (photo credit: 1500tasvir)
Thousands of Iranians head to Mahsa Amini's grave in Saqqez, October 26, 2022
(photo credit: 1500tasvir)

Thousands of Iranians visited the grave of Mahsa Amini in Saqqez and protested across the country, marking 40 days since Amini was killed by Iranian “morality” police.

Protesters at the cemetery were seen in videos shared on social media shouting “Death to the dictator!” and singing songs written during the ongoing protests.

Large-scale protests continued across Iran on Wednesday, over five weeks after Amini’s death, with everyone from schoolgirls to refinery workers to stock exchange traders gathering in the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and clashing with security forces.

Video published by the @1500tasvir Twitter account showed large crowds protesting in Tehran, Saqqez, Yazd, Ardabil, Tabriz, Borujerd, Kerman, Shiraz and Mashhad, among many other locations. Demonstrators chanted “women, life, freedom!” “death to the dictator!” and “we will fight, we will die, we will take back Iran!” among other slogans.

A large crowd gathers at Aichi cemetery in the Iranian city of Saqqez to mark the 40th day of the death of Mahsa Amini.. The crowd at the graveside chant: "My life (VIDEO CREDIT: SCOPAL)

Protesters also tore down banners displaying Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

The protests continued into the night, with crowds still demonstrating in Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Kamyaran, Isfahan, Qom and Shiraz, among other locations. Protesters torched garbage cans, blocked roads, marched down streets, and burned hijabs in many cities.

Footage from a number of protests on Wednesday night showed security forces firing directly at protesters.

According to the Kurdish Hengaw Human Rights Organization, security forces shot towards protesters with Kalashnikov firearms on Wednesday evening.

Iranian forces violently crack down on protesters

Footage published online showed protesters clashing with security forces in multiple locations, with security forces firing tear gas, stun grenades, and live bullets at demonstrators.

Mobile internet was heavily disrupted in the Kurdistan Province of Iran, where Saqqez is located, on Wednesday, a common tactic used by Iranian authorities to limit communications and prevent footage of protests being published, according to Internet watchdog NetBlocks.

Video reportedly from Sharif University showed large crowds clashing with security forces.

Protesting women at Al-Zahra University were locked into the campus, with workers placing iron sheets over the gates to block their view to the street.

At multiple campuses, security forces could be seen firing tear gas and stun grenades at students.

@1500tasvir additionally reported that people in many parts of Tehran were telling the account “There is war here.”

One video from Tehran showed armed security forces running away as protesters chased after them. Another video showed protesters throwing objects from a roof onto officers on the ground.

On Wednesday night, IRNA reported that a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence forces was killed after being shot by rioters in Malayer in the Hamadan Province of Iran.

Workers strike throughout Iran

Workers throughout Iran went on strike on Wednesday, including restaurant workers, market workers, stock market workers, refinery workers, and steel workers.

Video from multiple locations showed many businesses closed across the country.

The US Treasury designated 10 Iranian officials, two Iranian intelligence actors, and two Iranian entities for the ongoing crackdown on protesters in Iran on Wednesday.

“Forty days after the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, Iranians continue to bravely protest in the face of brutal suppression and disruption of internet access,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson. “The US is imposing new sanctions on Iranian officials overseeing organizations involved in violent crackdowns and killings, including of children, as part of our commitment to hold all levels of the Iranian government accountable for its repression.”

Concerns shrine attack will bring violence against protesters

On Wednesday night, Iranian social media users expressed concerns that an attack on the Shahcheragh shrine in Shiraz on Wednesday night was a “false flag” attack by the government aimed at justifying a harsher crackdown on protesters. Internet access reportedly became less restricted shortly after the attack.