Protests swell in Iran

Protests swell in Iran
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Islam News – Iran’s largest antigovernment protests since 2009 gathered strength on Saturday, spreading to as many as 80 cities.

Protesters have reportedly taken the small, mostly Kurdish city of Oshnavieh. Many fear a crackdown: “We are expecting blood to be spilled,” said an Iranian Kurd based in Germany who edits a news site. “It’s an extremely tense situation.”

In response, the authorities have escalated their crackdown, including opening fire on crowds. On Friday, state media said at least 35 had been killed, but rights groups said the number is likely much higher. Activists and journalists have also been arrested, according to rights groups and news reports.

Background: The protests were ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by the morality police on accusations of violating the hijab mandate. Women have led the demonstrations, some ripping off their head scarves, waving them and burning them as men have cheered them on.

Context: Analysts say that deep resentments have been building for months in response to a crackdown ordered by Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line president, that has targeted women. Years of complaints over corruption, economic and Covid mismanagement, and widespread political repression play a role.

Source: The New York Times

Islam News