Protests rocked Iran again overnight after a seeming slowdown in recent weeks, with marchers calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, online video posts purportedly showed on Friday.
The marches in numerous cities including Tehran that began on Thursday evening and went on into the night marked 40 days since the execution of two protesters last month.
Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were hanged on Jan. 8. Two others were executed in December.
Widespread protests in Iran
The protests that have swept across Iran began last September after the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini for flouting the hijab policy, which requires women to entirely cover their hair and bodies.
Feb 16, 2023. Izeh, Khuzestan.40th day since the Islamic Republic executed Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini.“This is the year of ichorSeyed Ali [Khamenei] will rule no more”“Freedom!”#MahsaAminipic.twitter.com/snNPTk7rM8— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) February 16, 2023
Videos on Friday showed overnight demonstrations in several neighborhoods in Tehran as well as in the cities of Karaj, Isfahan, Qazvin, Rasht, Arak, Mashhad, Sanandaj, Qorveh, and Izeh in Khuzestan province.
An online video purportedly from the holy Shi'ite city of Mashhad in the northeast showed protesters chanting: "My martyred brother, we shall avenge your blood.”
Reuters could not verify the videos.
The long wave of unrest has posed one of the strongest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. In demonstrations of protest, women have waved and burned their scarves or cut their hair in defiance of the hijab rules.
Feb 16, 2023. Karaj, Golshahr.Protests on the 40th day since the Islamic Republic executed Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini.#MahsaAminipic.twitter.com/kSvMO7wGLW— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) February 16, 2023
While the unrest appeared to have tapered off in recent weeks, likely because of the executions or the brutal crackdown, acts of civil disobedience have continued unabated.
Nightly anti-regime chants reverberate across Tehran neighborhoods and other cities. Youths spray graffiti at night denouncing the republic or burn pro-government billboards or signs on main highways. Unveiled women appear in the streets, malls, shops and restaurants despite dire warnings from officials.
Many of the women among the dozens of recently released prisoners have posed unveiled in front of cameras.