Saturday, March 25, 2023

Iran: Clashes with police erupt west of Tehran as protests continue

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Iranian protesters clashed with security forces on Thursday in the town of Karaj, some 40 kilometres west of the capital, Tehran.

Hundreds of people blocked the highway that runs through the city and hurled rocks at police vehicles.

According to the state-run Iranian media, a paramilitary was killed, and at least ten policemen were injured.

The Iranian authorities said they made several arrests and have since cleared the highway.

The demonstrators gathered to mark the 40th day since the killing of one of the young women who was shot during the uprising.

The 40th day after someone’s death has great symbolism in Islam and Iranian culture and is marked by public mourning. 

Iranian authorities have heavily restricted media coverage of the protests and have shut down internet access periodically across the country, making it difficult to confirm details of the unrest.

The death of Masha Amini at the hands of the morality police in mid-September is at the root of the historical nationwide revolt.

Authorities say she died because of an underlying health condition and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account. The protesters accuse the police of beating her to death.

But despite the regime’s fierce repression, demonstrations have continued for more than six weeks across Iran.

The protests were initially focused on Iran’s enforcement of wearing the headscarf, or hijab, with crowds of young women removing theirs during street protests. 

The demonstrations rapidly grew into calls for the overthrow of the theocracy that has ruled Iran for more than four decades.



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