Shopkeepers and industrial workers in Iran went on strike on Saturday as the rallies spearheaded by women throughout the country over the death in jail of Mahsa Amini reached their sixth week, according to campaigners.
The largest demonstrations in the Islamic Republic in years have been prompted by the murder of Amini, 22, who was detained after being accused of breaking Iran’s stringent dress code for women. Even though human rights groups say that a crackdown has killed at least 122 people, young women have taken the lead by taking off their headscarves, chanting against the government, and talking to security officers.
On Saturday, when the Iranian work week started, activists called for further protests but owing to limitations on internet access, it was impossible to predict attendance. It was Saturday. In a tweet that included a picture of a lady raising her fist without a head covering, activist Atena Daemi said, “We shall stand together for freedom.”
According to the social media platform 1500tasvir, there were “strikes in a few places, including Sanandaj, Bukan, and Saqez.” It was difficult to find proof of the strikes online because “the internet connection is too sluggish,” the station said. Amini was born and raised in Saqez, a city in the western Kurdistan region, where last month’s burial sparked unrest.
According to 1500tasvir, there were also protests at Tehran University, Allameh University, Razi University in Kermanshah, Hamedan, Ahvaz, and Yasuj universities.
‘Operatives, oligarchs, lobbyists’
Employees may be seen gathering outside the Aidin chocolate factory in the northwest city of Tabriz in footage shared by 1500tasvir. AFP was unable to quickly confirm the video. According to Iran, the United States, its sworn adversary, is seeking to use the protests as leverage in talks to reinstate the 2015 nuclear accord.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated, “The Americans continue to communicate with us, but they are attempting to fan the fires of what has been occurring within Iran lately.”
The organizers of a sizable gathering in Berlin called on “democratic countries… to STOP negotiating with the criminal regime known as the Islamic republic” in support of Iranian protesters. In a statement, the Iranians for Justice and Human Rights organization urged the Islamic Republic’s diplomats to be dismissed.
We want it to impose certain sanctions on the leaders, agents, oligarchs, and lobbyists of the Islamic Republic, he added, adding that we are not asking them to start a war, interfere in Iran, or put sanctions on the Iranian people.
The demonstration in Berlin, which drew hundreds of people, is only one of several taking place throughout the world, including in Australia and Japan.
Due to a crackdown that Amnesty International claims has resulted in the deaths of at least 23 children, the teachers’ union in Iran has called for a countrywide strike on Sunday and Monday. The “sit-in,” according to the Coordinating Council of Teachers’ Unions, will be in protest of “systematic oppression” by security personnel at schools.
‘Detain, maim, kill’
Athletes, famous people, and journalists were detained in the raid, according to activists, who also accuse the government of using a campaign of mass arrests and travel restrictions to put an end to the demonstrations. An Iranian climber who didn’t wear a headscarf last weekend when she competed in another country thanked her Instagram followers overnight.
Amini’s sister, Elnaz Rekabi, 33, only wore a headband during a competition at the Asian Championships in Seoul, which some saw as a show of support for Amini’s demonstrations. Rekabi made his first remarks on social media after arriving back in Iran on Wednesday to a hero’s welcome, saying, “I genuinely appreciate everyone who came to the airport to greet me, I love you.”