- It is now almost three weeks since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by the Iranian morality police on September 16.
- The protests that first united the Iranian people after Ms Amini’s death are now taking place in over 154 cities across the country – but also across the globe: Demonstrations have been conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Syria, Iraq, Greece, and Chile.
- At least 154 people are now reported dead, according to Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR); another 1,200 have been arrested, including at least 35 journalists.
- President Raisi has said an investigation into Ms Amini’s death will be launched, but at present coroner claims she died of natural causes.
- Elon Musk has announced he will provide internet access via his Starlink satellite to the Iranian people who are now facing the largest internet shutdown the country has seen since the protests of 2019.
- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, citing Kurdish involvement in the unrest, fired missiles and carried out drone strikes in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, reportedly killing 13 people, and injuring a further 58.
- The international community has responded with further sanctions on Iran and its morality police, as Canada, the US, and the EU all consider imposing additional penalties on the authorities responsible.
- Iran meanwhile continues to blame the West for igniting the unrest.
Oct. 9 – Protests continue across Iran, at least 185 people reported dead
According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group, at least 185 people have been reported dead in Iran since the start of the protests, including 19 minors.
Protesters have closed off Laleh Zar Street in Tehran today.
— Iran Human Rights (IHR NGO) (@IHRights) October 8, 2022
“At least 185 people, including at least 19 children, have been killed in the nationwide protests across Iran. The highest number of killings occurred in Sistan and Baluchistan province with half the recorded number,” the group writes in a statement on Saturday.
Oct. 5 – Celebrities in France cut their hair in support of Iranian women
Over 50 high-profile women in France, including Juliette Binoche and Marion Cotillard, film themselves cutting their hair in support of Iranian women.
Messages sans précédent d'actrices et de chanteuses françaises de renom (Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Huppert, Angèle…) qui se coupent les cheveux en soutien au combat des Iraniennes pour leur liberté. #Iran #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/n66Ry7Lg6K
— Armin Arefi (@arminarefi) October 5, 2022
Other celebrities involved include French actresses Isabelle Adjani and Isabelle Huppert, British actress Charlotte Rampling, singers Angèle and Jane Birkin, as well as Julie Gayet, wife of former French president François Hollande.
Oct. 5 – Protests spread to schools and universities across Iran
Videos appear on social media showing university students and high school girls across Iran joining the protests and taking off their headscarves as they chant, “death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!”
Oct 4 – Death toll rises to 154
Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) reports that “at least 154 people, including children, have been killed in the nationwide protests across Iran.”
At least 154 people, including children, have been killed in the nationwide protests in #Iran. The number of confirmed deaths in Zahedan's "bloody friday" on September 30, has also risen to at least 63 people.#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #IranRevolutionhttps://t.co/XjiOOoOX6m pic.twitter.com/pZGvWHyzEm
— Iran Human Rights (IHR NGO) (@IHRights) October 4, 2022
Most of the deaths, the NGO adds, have been reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mazandaran, Gilan and West Azerbaijan.
Sept. 30 – Protests continue, Iran steps up pressure on public figures
As the women-led protests in Iran continue, Norway-based “Iran Human Rights” group reports at least 83 deaths since Mahsa Amini’s death about two weeks ago.
#BREAKING At least 83 people including children are confirmed to have been killed in #IranProtests2022, the Oslo-based NGO @IHRights reported on Thursday.#MahsaAmini #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/2v8Wz7yOXt
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) September 29, 2022
Iran is meanwhile increasing pressure on journalists, athletes, artists, and celebrities in general who are supporting the demonstrations.
“We will take action against the celebrities who have fanned the flames of the riots,” said provincial Tehran governor Mohsen Mansouri.
Sept. 29 – President Raisi breaks silence: “acts of chaos”are unacceptable
Iran’s President Raisi continues the narrative on his government’s response to the countrywide protests, in an interview broadcast on state TV on Wednesday night.
He warns that the disruptions caused by protests will not be accepted, and promises that the investigation into Ms Amini’s death is being carried out under the principles of clarity and justice. He also mentions that a full forensic report would be released soon. Raisi said the incident had “saddened” the Islamic Republic, but also said:
“There is freedom of expression in Iran … but acts of chaos are unacceptable.”
#WIONFineprint | Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi finally breaks his silence on the anti-hijab protests that are taking place all over the nation. He calls the chaos in the country "unacceptable"@MollyGambhir brings you the latest information
— WION (@WIONews) September 29, 2022
So far, the investigation has yielded no signs of foul play from the morality police.
Sept. 28 – Women in Afghanistan continue to show solidarity
Women in Afghanistan continue to protest outside the Iranian embassy in Kabul.
Afghan women continue to protest, this time outside the Iranian embassy in Kabul, in solidarity with the women of Iran https://t.co/qmSDI7vFP7
— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) September 29, 2022
The protestors, however, are forced to flee the rally after Taliban forces began firing shots in the air.
Sept. 28 – Citing Kurdish involvement in the unrest, Iran fires missiles on Iraq
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fires missiles and carries out drone strikes in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, reportedly killing 13 people, and injuring a further 58.
#UPDATE 13 people have died and 58 wounded after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out missile and drone strikes in Iraq's northeast Kurdistan region.
The US said it downed a drone that "appeared as a threat" to its forces in the area.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 28, 2022
The Iranian authorities have said they targeted bases of dissident Iranian Kurds who they claim were involved in fueling the intensifying unrest spreading across Iran.
Sept. 27 – Protests spread further across Iran and globe, death toll rises
The protests that first united the people of Iran in fearless defiance are now erupting in not only more than 80 cities across the country – but also across the globe. Demonstrators in the UK, Canada, Australia, Syria, Iraq, and Chile have become unlikely allies in the face of female oppression.
In Iran, at least 76 are now reported dead, and another 1,200 arrested. Iranian officials say the west is to blame, fueling the unrest in an attempt to destabilize the country.
Sept. 26 – International community reacts
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces sanctions on Iran’s leadership and morality police.
🎥 Canadian foreign minister @melaniejoly speaks at #UNGA about #IranProtests2022 and how #Canada is responding.#IranRevolution #MahsaAmini #OpIran #مهسا_امینی #HumanRights #WomensRights #اعتصابات_سراسری #Mahsa_Amini #Iran
— Iranian Revolution in English (@iran_revolt_EN) September 27, 2022
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell states the EU will “consider all the options at its disposal” to enforce further sanctions on Iran and peaks out against Iran’s violent crackdown, saying the “widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protesters is unjustifiable and unacceptable.”
The widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unjustifiable and unacceptable.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) September 25, 2022
Sept. 25 – Investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death
President Raisi has said an investigation into Ms Amini’s death will be launched, but at present coroner claims she died of natural causes.
Raisi now warns he will “deal decisively” with the unrest.
Sept. 25 – Protests reach California
Worldwide protests continue as demonstrators line the Golden Gate bridge in a show of support.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 26, 2022
Sept. 24 – Iran women’s rights protests go global
Protests spread internationally, with demonstrations held in Rome, Athens and Stockholm, London, and Paris, among other places.
View this post on Instagram
In London, twelve people are arrested and five police officers injured at the protestors outside the Iranian embassy. In Paris, riot police uses tear gas to control crowds.
🇫🇷🇬🇧 Hundreds of people protest outside the Iranian embassies in Paris and London over the death of Mahsa Amini.
— euronews (@euronews) September 26, 2022
Sept. 23 – US & Elon Musk provide internet access to Iranians on the ground
The US relaxes some internet and social media sanctions to provide greater access to the people amid the nationwide blackout that is the largest internet shutdown the country has seen since the protests of 2019.
We took action today to advance Internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people, issuing a General License to provide them greater access to digital communications to counter the Iranian government’s censorship.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 23, 2022
Elon Musk has announced he will provide internet access to the Iranian people on the ground via his Starlink satellite, as many are concerned the blackout may have been ordered to hide the reported atrocities being committed by the authorities.
The Resistance is in space.. pic.twitter.com/tAQNgVtcvR
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) September 24, 2022
Sept. 23 – International community unites in support of Iranian women
View this post on Instagram
UN Women is deeply concerned and saddened by the death of #MahsaAmini in Iran.
We echo the call of @UNHumanRights, for a prompt, impartial, & effective investigation by an independent competent authority.
— UN Women (@UN_Women) September 22, 2022
Solidarity with the courageous women and allies in Iran protesting for their freedom.
Mahsa Amini was senselessly murdered by the same patriarchal and autocratic forces repressing women the world over.
The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 23, 2022
Sept. 22 – US sanctions Iran’s morality police
The US announces sanctions on Iran’s morality police
We have sanctioned Iran’s گشت_ارشاد# Morality Police, the entity responsible for the arrest and death of #Mahsa_Amini, and designated seven other Iranian security officials responsible for suppressing non-violent protests.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 22, 2022
Sept. 21 – Iran’s President speaks at UNGA as protests and internet blackouts intensify
At the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, Iranian President, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, negotiates nuclear deals and de-cries Western double standards.
During Raisi’s speech, there was no mention of the current unrest in his country, where the internet has reportedly been taken offline by authorities, women are burning their hijabs in the street, and eight people have so far died as a result of intensifying anti-regime protests. One of the eight dead is reported to be a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the head by police.
🧵 Iranian security forces are violently quashing largely peaceful protests sparked by the death in custody of #Mahsa_Amini. The barrage of gunfire unleashed on protesters has left at least 8 people dead and 100s injured. pic.twitter.com/9kMElmdKoL
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) September 21, 2022
Over the past six days, the waves of women’s rights protests have spread rapidly across dozens of cities in Iran, as the women of the country have taken to the streets with anger and defiance to face-off against the police, militia and strict hijab-laws that oppress their freedom, in what has become the biggest challenge the regime has seen in years.
Women of all ages continue to be at the forefront of clashes with the authorities during the protests, defiantly committing a range of outspoken acts and demonstrations punishable by Iranian law.
In Mashhad, a plainclothes officer beats women protesters on the side of a road with a baton as one woman tries to protect another by standing in front of her, on day five of protests in Iran over the death of #MahsaAmini in morality police custody.pic.twitter.com/kXdMHlhgm5
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 21, 2022
One human rights group reported that at least 450 people have been injured and a further 500 arrested so far.
Access to the internet and social media platforms also continues to be restricted, reportedly in an attempt to curb the disruptions and prevent dissidents from instigating and orchestrating the protests online.
The reported curbs are now causing growing concern amongst activists, who liken the move to a similar blackout that preluded a massacre of more than 1000 people during the nation’s last widespread protests over fuel prices in 2019.
⚠️ #Iran is now subject to the most severe internet restrictions since the November 2019 massacre.
▶️ Mobile networks largely shut down (MCI, Rightel, Irancell – partial)
▶️ Regional disruptions observed during protests
▶️ Instagram, WhatsApp restrictedhttps://t.co/8cCHIJA2Oi
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) September 21, 2022
Sept. 20 – “Killings after killings, to hell with morality police!”
On the fifth consecutive day of protests across Iran, more videos of public moral outrage and widespread dissent sweep across social media, with eyewitnesses and human rights groups saying authorities are cracking down hard on protestors, using tear-gas, violence and internet blackouts to try and contain the demonstrations.
Many police vehicles are damaged and burned, with Islamic symbols and images of the 1979 Revolutions founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, being torn down and destroyed.
A young woman without a headscarf is pictured on the frontline of nationwide protests in Iran sparked by the death of #MahsaAmini, 22, following her arrest by morality police over “improper hijab”.#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/duSusm5bL8
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 20, 2022
In the tweet below, women can be seen dancing whilst burning their headscarves on a street bonfire in Sari.
These women in #Iran’s northern city of Sari are dancing and burning their headscarves… anti-regime protests have now spread to dozens of cities from north to south, east to west… all triggered by the death of #MahsaAmini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. pic.twitter.com/BBDvgC5L1w
— Rana Rahimpour (@ranarahimpour) September 20, 2022
One woman cuts her hair in front of clapping and cheering crowds in the main square in Kerman, whilst onlookers again chant, “Death to the Dictator”
Unprecedented scenes in Iran: woman sits on top of utility box and cuts her hair in main square in Kerman to protest death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police. People clap their hands and chant “Death to the dictator.” #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/2oyuKV80Ac
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) September 20, 2022
One older woman is shown on social media to be shouting at the authorities, “if you think you are a man, come and kill me,” whilst Tehran’s university campus sees crowds of students chanting, “Killings after killings, to hell with morality police!”
Activist groups now report at least seven deaths as protests spread like wildfire across the country.
Iranian news stations only report one death so far; that of a police assistant who died as a result of injuries inflicted by protesters.
Accusations are also made by state TV about the protests being “fully organized with the agenda to create unrest,” with Mahsa Amini’s death being used as an “excuse” by Kurdish separatists to do so. The authorities are reportedly responding to the protests with “live ammunition, pellet guns and teargas,” says the UN.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada al-Nashif, expresses alarm at Mahsa Amini’s death, condemning the moral police’s escalating violence against Iranian women.
🇮🇷#Iran: Acting UN Human Rights Chief calls for investigation into #Mahsa_Amini‘s death in custody following her arrest for what was perceived to be “improper” hijab. @NadaNashif also condemns the violent response by security forces to ensuing protests.
👉 https://t.co/S9Yxr46Ffk pic.twitter.com/Q5pPkKCoXY
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) September 20, 2022
She calls for repeal of hijab law in the country, stating that “the authorities must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules.”
“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth,” said Nashif.
Sept. 19 – Protests spread across Iran, three protestors reported dead
The authorities define Mahsa Amini’s death as an “unfortunate” incident, and the UN in Iran extends condolences to the Amini family.
View this post on Instagram
Despite increasing reports of internet blackouts, widespread protests spread from Amini’s hometown, Saqez, to other nearby parts of Western Iran as well as the capital city Tehran.
An incredible image taken during today’s protests against the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by Iran’s morality police.
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 19, 2022
Crowds of protesters gather in the streets, with stones being thrown and widespread scenes of female liberty unfold as women publicly remove and burn their headscarfs on street bonfires, cutting their hair as crowds cheer them on chanting “death to the dictator.”
A woman on top of a car bonnet sets her headscarf on fire today in central Tehran during protests for Mahsa Amini, 22, who died after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police over “improper hijab”. #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/9r9tDdgFEW
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 19, 2022
Three protesters are reportedly killed during confrontations with authorities and riot police in Saqez, Divandareh and Dehgolan.
At Mahsa Amini’s funeral in her hometown of Saqqez, Kurdistan province, women take their headscarves off in protest against Iran’s forced hijab law amid “death to the dictator” chants.
Mahsa, 22, died in custody after being arrested by morality police.pic.twitter.com/MaqyberjNO
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 17, 2022
— Rana Rahimpour (@ranarahimpour) September 19, 2022
Sept. 18 – Unrest brews in the streets: “Woman, life, liberty”
In Tehran, university students take part in a rally on campus, chanting “woman, life, liberty.”
Protests against the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by Iran’s morality police over mandatory hijab, have entered their third day.
University of Tehran students chant “woman, life, liberty” at a rally on campus today.pic.twitter.com/UspL09Lk4P
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 18, 2022
Meanwhile in western Iran, in the city of Sanandaj, authorities take increasingly violent measures to control protests.
Gunshots can be heard as protesters run for cover tonight in Ferdowsi Street, Sanandaj, on the third night of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, following her arrest by Iran’s morality police over “inappropriate hijab”.pic.twitter.com/J8QSifaRUo
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 18, 2022
Sept. 17 – Protests erupt at Mahsa Amini’s funeral
The online outrage sweeping across social media in response to Mahsa Amini’s death erupts on the streets, as protests are instigated at Mahsa Amini’s funeral in her home city of Saqez, in the western Kurdistan province of Iran.
Some women attending the funeral are removing their headscarves, whilst mourners chant “death to the dictator.” The protests and chanting later moves to outside the local governor’s office, where the police reportedly opens fire at the demonstrators.
Many are reported to be arrested or injured by the violent clashes with police.
Mahsa Amini, 22, who died in the custody of Iran's morality police over forced hijab rules, was buried in her hometown of Saqqez, Kurdistan province, today.
Her funeral turned into a scene of large protests, violently confronted by security forces. pic.twitter.com/DqVjbSjIhE
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 17, 2022
Netblocks, an internet watchdog known as “The Internet’s Observatory,” which tracks network outages and shutdowns, reports internet connection disruptions in Tehran and Saqez since Ms Amini’s death was announced. Social media such as WhatsApp and Instagram are also reportedly affected.
⚠️ Confirmed: A significant internet outage has been registered in Tehran, #Iran with real time network data showing connectivity at 67% of ordinary levels; the incident comes amid protests over the death of Mahsa Amini and may affect coverage of events on the ground 📉 pic.twitter.com/a8fjaaLoYG
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) September 16, 2022
Sept. 16 – Mahsa Amini arrested for breaking hijab rules
At the entrance to a subway station in Tehran on Tuesday, September 13, Mahsa Amini was arrested by morality police – or “Gasht-e Ershad” – due to her “unsuitable attire.” She was reportedly not wearing her hijab correctly, and was driven away in a police van where eyewitnesses say she was violently beaten up by authorities.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested by Iran's morality police for so-called "inappropriate hijab". She fell into a coma at a police station and sadly died at a hospital today. Morality police claim she had a "sudden heart attack". Her mother says Mahsa was murdered by the authorities. pic.twitter.com/ibWOnMBROk
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 16, 2022
Mahsa was 22 years old, and had traveled with her brother from their home in western Iran to visit family members in the capital city. Authorities initially told Amini’s brother that she would be released after attending a “briefing class;” instead, after collapsing at the detention centre, she was admitted to Kasra hospital and pronounced brain dead on arrival.
Kasra Hospital initially released a statement about Ms Amini’s condition when she arrived for medical attention, stating that she had “no vital signs. However, after receiving several accusations of being “anti-regime agents,” the post was later removed.
After spending three days in a coma, Amini died at the hospital on Friday, September 16, 2022.
Authorities have denied accusations of violence against Ms Amini, claiming she died due to “sudden heart failure.” Her family, however, have vehemently rebuked the police’s statement, saying she was fit and healthy at the time of her arrest.
CCTV footage of Amini’s arrest was released, showing her collapse at the detention center; many have however criticized the broadcast, accusing authorities of doctoring the footage in line with their story.
Iranian Prime Minister Ebhrahim Raisi has ordered the Interior Minister to launch an investigation into her death.
Outrage has erupted across social media in protest of the injustice of Mahsa Amini’s death, revealing a deep-rooted anger in the women of Iran after decades of oppression at the hands of the theocratic regime.
View this post on Instagram
Correction: This article has been updated since publication to amend the introductory bullet points to avoid assumptions; update September 29 entry to amend quotes from Iranian officials; update September 25 entry to clarify the investigation; update September 16 subheading to avoid assumption.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Iranians protest outside the Embassy of Iran in Athens, Greece, 27.9.2022. Featured Photo Credit: Iason Raissis.