Protests in Iran: Large protests kick off as anger grows over executions and Ukrainian plane crash | world news

The first major protests of the year took place in Iran over the weekend, with reports of gunshots and tear gas in some cities.

More … than 25 protests in at least 17 cities took place on Sunday, the highest number since December 5.

Sky News has mapped the location of every protest with 12 or more people since September 16, with data provided by the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (CTP) with support from the Institute for the Study of War.

Strikes also took place, as reported by this Iranian driver who says: “It’s Kermanshah, the heart of Kurdistan, Sunday 18, a general strike. Sunday 18 of the Iranian calendar corresponds to January 8 of the Gregorian calendar.

His images show a number of closed stores.

The protests and strikes have taken place as the Iranian people continue to demand large-scale change in the country.

The protests began after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was killed while in custody after police said she was wearing her hijab (head covering) “inappropriately”.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that 519 protesters have died since September 17. The group’s figures, released on January 9, also report that nearly 20,000 people have been arrested and 111 are “under imminent threat of a death sentence”.

Sunday’s civil unrest was also fueled by anger over the downing of a Ukrainian civilian plane by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) three years ago. All 176 people on board died.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in Tehran on January 8, 2020 by two anti-aircraft missiles in what Iran called a “human error”, but the families of the victims called a “war crime “.

Iranian forces appeared to expect increased protest action.

For example, last week cameras were installed in the western city of Javanrud.

Picture:
Cameras are set up in the town of Javanrud ahead of major weekend protests. Photo: Kurpa

Security forces also gathered in the city ahead of the weekend.

The police move to Javanrud.  Photo: Kurpa
Picture:
The police move to Javanrud. Photo: Kurpa

Demonstrations took place in the neighborhood. This video, which Sky News could not verify, shows fires in the streets.

Two protesters were executed on Saturday, potentially fueling large protests on Sunday.

Mohammad Mahdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were killed on Saturday. Iran sentenced them to death for killing a paramilitary member, prompting condemnation from the UN human rights office which said the executions were the result of ‘unfair trials based on coerced confessions’ “.

These men became the third and fourth protesters whose executions have been publicly confirmed, following the murder of Majidreza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekar in December.

Tensions around the men’s execution continued on Monday, with authorities blocking roads leading to the burial site and reportedly shooting mourners.

This footage, which Sky News has confirmed was taken just outside the cemetery, shows a man in black shooting at cars driving to the site.

Two other men face imminent execution. Dozens of Iranians gathered outside Rajaeeshahr prison (also known as Gohardasht prison) near the capital Tehran to try to stop the killings of Mohammad Ghobadloo and Mohammad Boroughani.

Mohammad Ghobadloo’s mother, 23, gave a speech and, as this footage shows, was embraced by the crowd who chanted, “Honorable Iranian! Support! Support!”

Both men were due to be executed in the early hours of Monday, but the protest outside the prison appears to have delayed the executions.

Other protests took place across the country on Sunday.

Social media users reported shootings at Karaj and Mashad. Sky News has not been able to independently verify these claims.

Forces used tear gas against protesters in Bandar-e Anzali and Tehran.

This footage appears to show smoke coming from tear gas canisters and repeated detonations can be heard as protesters chant on a main street in Bandar-e Anzali.

Freedom of the press is restricted in Iran. Much of what is known about the situation comes from information shared on social media by protesters who manage to evade state attempts to block them from uploading evidence online.

Sky News has been monitoring this footage since the protests began in September. Fewer footage has emerged and the levels of blurring and audio distortion used to mask faces and voices appear to have become more thorough over the past couple of months.

It is therefore more difficult to verify and report what is happening within the country’s borders.

Read more:
Amir Nasr-Azadani: Iranian footballer sentenced to 16 years in prison for participating in protests

Iran protests: Who killed this man? CCTV offers vital evidence of deadly attack

An expert said protesters are increasingly leave your phone at home because people are attacked for filming and harassed if they are found with footage of protests when arrested.


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