In Iran, the Ministry of the Interior affirms that mobilization is weakening; a demonstration of support brings together 80,000 people in Berlin

While one of the most important movements of support for the protests in Iran was held on Saturday October 22 in Berlin, the Iranian authorities ensure that the “riots” know their ” last days “.

The Islamic Republic has been shaken since September 16 by a protest movement following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, three days after her arrest by the morality police, who accused her of having violated the Strict Islamic Republic dress code.

Dozens of people, mainly protesters but also members of the security forces, were killed during these demonstrations. Hundreds more, including women, have been arrested. The mobilization has since gone far beyond the country’s borders, and demonstrations of support have been organized in other countries.

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In Berlin, 80,000 demonstrators in support of the protests

Around 80,000 demonstrators gathered in Berlin on October 22, 2022, in support of the protest movement in Iran.

Some 80,000 people marched in Berlin on Saturday, a police spokesman said. “Today, thousands of people show their solidarity with the brave women and protesters in Iran”greeted the German family minister, environmentalist Lisa Paus, on Twitter. “We are by your side”she added.

Among the participants in this demonstration organized by a collective of women, some held up posters with the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” (“Women, Life, Freedom”), others Kurdish flags. The demonstrators marched in the heart of the city in peace, said the police, who counted them aboard a helicopter.

In Iran, the Interior Ministry, for its part, affirmed on Saturday that the “riots” were about to disappear. “There are a few gatherings at universities, with fewer and fewer people. The riots know their last days »said Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi, quoted by the official IRNA agency.

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Crackdown on protests left at least 122 dead

“The situation in the provinces is good and we have no riots that lead to urban violence”he added. “Zahedan’s problem is different”, he added, referring to the capital of the province of Sistan and Balochistan, one of the poorest regions of Iran. Violence that occurred on September 30 in this city left dozens dead, including members of the security forces, state media accusing “extremists” to be behind attacks on police stations.

However, an influential Sunni religious leader in Sistan and Balochistan, Molavi Abdol Hamid, accused law enforcement of shooting “about people gathered around a mosque”. For him, the population was angered by reports that a police chief had raped a teenage girl. On Friday, hundreds of people took to the streets in Zahedan and shouted anti-authority slogans, according to videos posted on social media.

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“Yesterday’s sermon [vendredi] by Molavi Abdol Hamid was provocative”said Mr. Mirahmadi, quoted by the Tasnim agency, saying that “150 thugs had attacked public property”. Provincial police chief Ahmad Taheri spoke about the arrest of 57 “rioters”, according to IRNA. Molavi Abdol Hamid considered, for his part, that “country officials (…) were all responsible events in Zahedan, according to its website.

Iranians demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, September 19, 2022.

According to videos posted on social networks, the demonstrations seemed to be continuing well in several cities of Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad, Mahabad (Northwest) and in several universities of the country. However, these images could not be verified immediately. A video shows in particular demonstrators lighting fires in the streets of the Laleh-Zar district, in Tehran. On another, we see protesters chanting “Death to the Dictator” in Mashhad, in the northeast of the country. Across Iran, the crackdown on protests, the largest since 2019 against rising fuel prices, has left at least 122 people dead, including children, according to Iran Human Rights, an organization human rights organization based in Oslo.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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