Iran: Protests swell to mark 3 year anniversary of 2019 ‘Bloody Aban’ crackdown


The protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Amini on September 16—following her arrest for allegedly violating the strict dress code for women—were given new life by the call to remember those killed in the 2019 crackdown. Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the start of “Bloody Aban” (or Bloody November) when a surprise overnight fuel price hike sparked bloody street violence that lasted for days.

According to online videos that AFP verified, stores in Tehran’s renowned Grand Bazaar and other regions of the country were closed as the day got underway. Iranian media reported that the bazaar’s vendors closed their doors out of concern that they would be set on fire.

Other independently verified footage shows protesters in Tehran blocking a major roundabout at Sanat Square while shouting “Freedom, freedom” over the din of blaring car horns.

Later, crowds poured onto the streets of other cities, such as Bandar Abbas and Shiraz, where women were seen calmly raising their headscarves in the air.

The UN Human Rights Office urged Iran to release thousands of people who had been detained after participating in peaceful protests right away.

“Instead of opening space for dialogue on legitimate grievances, the authorities are responding to unprecedented protests with increasing harshness,” spokesman Jeremy Laurence told reporters in Geneva.

“This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali will be toppled,” a large crowd chanted outside a Tehran metro station, in a video verified by AFP, referring to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

2019 fuel price hike protests

Amnesty International estimated that 304 people died in the protests of November 2019; however, a tribunal of rights organisations held in London this year found that expert testimony indicated that the death toll was likely much higher, possibly as high as 1,515.

Students at Tehran’s Khajeh-Nasir university chanted “1,500 people were killed in Aban” on Tuesday, according to a video shared by activists.

(With inputs from AFP)

 

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