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Mahsa Amini protests

Mahsa Amini Protests
Part of the 2021–2022 Iranian protests, the Iranian Democracy Movement, Opposition to Compulsary Hijab in Iran, and the death of Mahsa Amini
Uprising in Tehran, Keshavarz Boulvard September 2022 (3).jpg
Protests in Tehran, Keshavarz Boulvard
Date16 September 2022 – present
Towns and cities across Iran
Caused by
  • Overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Establishment of a Democracy
  • Revoking of mandatory requirements in public law
  • Disbandment of Morality Police
  • Ending violence against women in Iran
  • Prosecuting the perpetrators of Mahsa Amini's death
Roadblocks and Barricades
Disobeying of hijab laws in public
Parties to the civil conflict
Iranian protesters
Lead figures
No centralised leadership Iran Ali Khamenei
Iran Ebrahim Raisi

A series of demonstrations began in Iran on 16 September 2022, following the death of Mahsa Amini (Persian: مهسا امینی), who died while in police custody, allegedly having been beaten by the Guidance Patrol, the Islamic "morality police" of Iran, and accused of a fashion violation related to an "improper hijab". The protests began in the cities of Saqqez, Sanandaj, Divandarreh, Baneh and Bijar in Kurdistan province, and later spread to other parts of Iran. These protests spread rapidly after one day and the cities of Tehran, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Sabzevar, Amol, Isfahan, Kerman, Shiraz, Tabriz, Rasht, Sari, Karaj, Tonekabon, Arak, Ilam, and many other cities joined these protests.

As of 22 September 2022, at least thirty one protesters have been killed, making these the most deadly protests since the 2019–2020 protests with more than 1,500 fatalities.

In response to the protests, the government of Iran blocked access to apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, and limited Internet accessibility, to reduce the protesters' ability to organize. These may be the most severe Internet restrictions in Iran since 2019 when it was shut down completely.


Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old Iranian woman who was arrested by the Guidance Patrol on 14 September 2022, and suffered brain death due to a skull injury after allegedly having been beaten. She died two days later, on 16 September. After her funeral, protests were held in different parts of Iran. A nationwide strike was later called from Kurdistan province to Tehran on 18 September. Iranian Kurdistan parties and civil and political activists from Kurdistan declared Monday a general strike day.


Hours after Mahsa Amini died, a group of people gathered in protest against her murder near Kasar Hospital, where Amini died, and chanted slogans such as "Death to the dictator", "Guidance patrol is a killer", "I will kill, I will kill the one who killed my sister", "I swear by Mahsa's blood", "Iran will be free", "Khamenei is a murderer, his government is invalid" and "Oppression against women from Kurdistan to Tehran". These protests were met with the suppression and arrest of protesters. A number of women took off and burned their headscarves in response to the attack of the counter-insurgency forces and chanted the slogan "Shameless Daesh". Some people honked their car horns in the streets as a sign of protest. Another protest against compulsory hijab-wearing laws took place that evening in Tehran's Argentina Square. Protesters chanted slogans against Iran's sovereignty and compulsory hijab-wearing laws. Released videos of the evening show the violent arrest of some of the protesters.

17 September

Beginning on Saturday, after Amini's burial, Saqqez, her hometown, and the city of Sanandaj were the scene of massive demonstrations, where government forces used violent force to disperse protesters. The published picture of Amini's tomb in Saqqez shows the words on a stone above it in Kurdish:

"Zina (Mahsa), you will not die, your name will become a symbol "

18 September

The people of Sanandaj once again took to the streets on Sunday night to protest against the death of Mahsa and chanted the slogans "Death to the dictator", "Shame on us, shame on us / our bastard leader", and "Death to Khamenei". A group of women took off their hijabs in protest. According to unconfirmed sources quoted by the BBC, security forces fired on the demonstrators. A number of students from Tehran University held a protest rally on Sunday with placards in their hands. On this day, a heavy presence of security forces was reported in Tehran and Mashhad.

19 September

By the 19th, mobile internet service was down in central Tehran. According to videos on social media, protests continued in downtown Tehran, the northern city of Rasht, the central city of Ishfan, as well as in Western Kurdish territory. According to Hengaw, a Nordic organization that monitors human rights in Iran, three protesters were killed by security forces in Kurdistan province.

A 23-year-old man named Farjad Darvishi was killed by police while protesting in the Waliasr town of Urmia, Iran. He was allegedly shot by police security agents during the demonstration and died on his way to the hospital from his wounds.

20 September

According to the Voice of America, unconfirmed social media videos showed anti-government protests in at least 16 of Iran's 31 provinces, including "Alborz, East Azerbaijan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Razavi Khorasan, Tehran, and West Azerbaijan." Protesters in Sari appeared to tear down pictures of the Ayatollah and his predecessor from a city building. Iranian state media reported that three people had been killed in Kurdistan protests. According to Hengaw, two male protesters were killed by security forces in West Azerbaijan, and a female protester was similarly killed in Kermanshah. The prosecutor in Kermanshah denied state responsibility, stating people were being killed by "anti-revolutionary elements". Iranian state media reported a police assistant's death from protesters in the southern city of Shiraz. In the city of Kerman, a woman was filmed removing her hijab and cutting off her ponytail during a protest. Some witnesses interviewed by CNN characterized the day's protests as "flash protests" that sought to form and then disperse quickly before security forces could intervene.

21 September

Women in Sari were recorded burning their hijabs in protest. According to Hengaw, a man allegedly shot by security forces on the 19th died on the 21st. Hengaw stated ten demonstrators total had been killed so far by security forces; Amnesty International stated it had confirmed eight of those deaths so far. Amnesty International also condemned what it called "unlawful use of birdshot and other munitions" against the protesters. WhatsApp and Instagram, the only mainstream social media and messaging apps permitted in Iran, were restricted; in addition, there was a widespread internet shutdown, especially on mobile networks. Iran's Basij, a state militia, held pro-government counter-rallies in Tehran. In other countries, demonstrations of solidarity with the protesters occurred in countries including Canada, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

According to two semi-official Iranian news agencies, a member of the Basij was stabbed to death in Mashhad.

22 September

Protesters in Tehran and other cities burned police stations and cars.


A large number of slogans and placards have been used by the demonstrators in these protests, which directly target the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its leader, Khamenei and violence against women in Iran by Guidance Patrol. "Woman, Life, Freedom" is the signature slogan of the protests.[citation needed]


According to Iran Human Rights, as of 22 September, 31 people had been killed alongside hundreds of women detained and abused by the authorities. Name and date of killing is shown when possible.

City Fatalities Name(s) Date Details
Amol 11 22 September
Babol 6
Divandarre 2 Fouad Qadimi, Mohsen Mohammadi 20 September Iran Human Rights Group reports two deaths while other sources report four.
Saqqez 1
Dehgelan 1 Reza Lotfi 20 September
Mahabad 1
Urmia 1 Farjad Darvishi 21 September
Karaj 1
Piranshahr 1 Zakaria Khyal 21 September Video showing his mother singing a Kurdish lullaby on his grave, calling him a "martyr".
Kermanshah 1 Minoo Majidi 22 September
Oshnavieh 1 Amin Maroufi 22 September Kurdistan Human Rights Network reports three deaths: Amin Marefat, Milan Haqiqi, Sadreddin Litani.
Quchan 1 Ali Mozaffari 22 September Saipa Volleyball Team player
Bandar Anzali 1
Ilam 1 Mohsen Qeysari 21 September
Tabriz 1
Total 31

Internet blackout

In order to prevent photos and videos of the protests from being broadcast on the Internet and to prevent them from reaching the world's leading news agencies, the Iranian government initially cut off Internet networks and social media channels in the cities of Saqqez and Sanandaj for a few days. With the spread of protests throughout Iran, the government of the Islamic Republic cut off the entire Internet throughout Iran. On Twitter, the messaging platform WhatsApp stated that it was working to keep Iranian users connected and would not block Iranian phone numbers.


After photos and videos of the protests and the responding force shown during the protests, many international human rights groups such as the Iran Human Rights group and the Human Rights Watch group, and the UN Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif, issued statements of concern. The Human Rights Watch group raised specific concern about reports that seem to indicate authorities using teargas and lethal force to disperse protesters. The United States Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against the Guidance Patrol as well as seven senior leaders of Iran's various security organizations.


See also

This page was last updated at 2022-09-23 00:24 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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