Iranian forces open fire at Mahsa's 40th mourning day protests
Iranian forces allegedly fired upon the mourners who had gathered to mark the 40th day of the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, on Wednesday. Tensions escalated after a massive gathering was witnessed in the hometown of Mahsa despite heightened security arrangements meant to prevent the gathering. Three people have died since Wednesday in protests, claims rights body.
Why does this story matter?
- The death of Kurdish-origin young woman has put Iran in a tight spot as the escalations have not settled down despite the passing of 40 days.
- The country's moral police's alleged action has brought bad light on the country as it received immense criticism for the "harsh laws" meant to decide the dress code for women in the country.
'Police used force against mourners'
Hengaw, a Norway-based human rights organization that monitors rights violations in the Kurdish region of Iran claimed, "Security forces have shot tear gas and opened fire on people in Zindan square, Saqez city." The group said that three people have been killed in different areas of the country since Wednesday. They have been identified as Shaho Khazri, Mohammad Shariati, and Ismaeil Mauludi.
"Three killed in force's firing since Wednesday"
Shaho Khazri, a young Kurdish man from Mahabad, was killed by direct fire from the Iranian security forces during the protests after the burial of Esmail Moloudi#ZhinaAmini #MahsaAmini #Kurdistan #Mahabad #ژینا_امینی #مهسا_امینی #مهاباد pic.twitter.com/jL0hNwQypY— Hengaw Organization for Human Rights (@Hengaw_English) October 27, 2022
'Women leading mourners'
Viral videos of the gathering at Saqez in western Kurdistan province, the hometown of Amini, show women leading the demonstration. A picture of the event, posted on Twitter and verified by Agence France-Presse (AFP) shows a woman on the rooftop of a car without a headcover, facing a road packed with vehicles and mourners. A large number of men were seen among the mourners.
Thousands of women gathered to protest
Who was Mahsa Amini?
On September 16, Amini was arrested for wearing an "improper hijab" by Iran's morality police when she was with her brother near a metro station, reported Iranian publication Etemad. Hours after her arrest, her brother learned that she was rushed to the hospital. Police claimed Amini suffered a "cardiac seizure in custody and denied claims that she was beaten." She died three days later.
Country wide tensions escalate after death
According to reports, demonstrations were held across Iran, with protesters shouting anti-government slogans following Amini's burial. Protest videos went viral, with some showing government forces using tear gas to disperse crowds. Some protesting women were also seen cutting their hair and torching their hijabs in a symbolic show of defiance against "Iran's harsh rules that mandate women to wear hijabs."