- Thousands of people held a rally in Berlin in support of the Iranian protests
- Crowd chants “Death to Khamenei” at Berlin rally
- Protests enter 6th week despite deadly crackdown
- The Revolutionary Guards warned the cleric about “agitation” in the southeast
BERLIN/DUBAI, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people rallied in Berlin on Saturday in support of protesters, despite a deadly state crackdown, as unrest sparked by the police killing of Mahsa Ami in Iran entered its sixth week.
Although the protests do not appear close to toppling the government, which has deployed a heavy security apparatus to quell the unrest, it has issued one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s spiritual leadership since the 1979 revolution.
Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died in police custody after being detained for “dressing inappropriately”. Protests started at his funeral in September. 17 in the Kurdish city of Saghez before spreading to Iran. Rights groups say more than 200 people died during the crackdown.
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Women played a prominent role by waving and burning chadras. The deaths of several teenage girls, who were reportedly killed during the protests, fueled the anger.
According to the police in Berlin, 80,000 people participated in the march, protesters waved Iranian flags and held placards with the words “Women, Life, Freedom” in their hands. Organizers said Iranians traveled from all over the United States, Canada and the European Union.
“From Zahidan to Tehran, I sacrifice my life for Iran,” human rights defender Fariba Baluch said after speaking at the Berlin meeting, referring to the cities of Iran where protests took place. Referring to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Jamaat replied: “Death to Khamenei.”
Anti-government activists said the Berlin march was the largest demonstration against the Islamic Republic by Iranians abroad.
“I feel very good because we are here to (say) ‘We are with you, we are with all Iranian people’. I am the voice of Mahsa Ami,” said a protester who gave his name as Maru.
Videos posted on social media, which Reuters could not independently confirm, showed ongoing protests in a number of cities across Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad in the northeast, Mahabad in the northwest, Dezful in the southwest, and several of the country’s universities.
The videos show demonstrators chanting slogans in the Sadeghieh neighborhood in western Tehran and lighting fires in the streets of the capital’s Lalehzar district. Another showed cars honking in Mashhad and demonstrators chanting “Death to the Dictator”.
In social media videos said to be from Dezful, youths chanted “Freedom, freedom, freedom” as they were confronted by police in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, mainly ethnic Arabs, on the border with Iraq.
Khamenei warned no one should dare to think they can uproot the Islamic Republic by accusing their enemies of inciting riots. State television reported that at least 26 members of the security forces were killed.
Some of the deadliest riots occurred in the areas where he lived Ethnic minorities with long-standing grievances against the state. These include the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan and the provincial capital of Zahedan.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard accused a leading Sunni cleric on Saturday of preaching against the Islamic Republic and warned it could cost him dearly after he blamed officials, including Khamenei, for the killing of dozens of people in Zahidan last month.
Amnesty International said security forces were killed at least 66 people A raid after Friday prayers in Zahedan in September. 30.
Zahida’s leading Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid said during the Friday sermon According to September 2009, the head of the Shia-majority state, including Khamenei, said that they are “responsible to God”. 30 kills. He said that bullets were fired into their heads and chests and assessed the murder as a massacre.
Sepah News, the official news site of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in a brief statement: “Mr. Abdulhamid, inciting and inciting the youth against the holy Islamic Republic of Iran may cost you dearly! This is a final warning!”
The state media reported on this in September. 30 violent “unidentified gunmen” opened fire on a police station, prompting security forces to return fire.
The Revolutionary Guards said that 5 members of their forces and volunteer Basij militants were killed on September 2. 30 violence. The authorities blamed the Baloch armed group. Neither that group nor any other faction claimed their role.
The protests were sparked by allegations of harassment of a local teenage girl by a police officer. Officials said the case is under investigation.
after Protests started in Zahidan Again on Friday, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Majid Mir Ahmadi said that calm had been restored, the official news agency IRNA reported.
According to him, 150 bandits attacked public property and even shops owned by Sunnis.
Human rights activists say the government has long discriminated against ethnic minorities, including the Kurds.
The state denies charges of discrimination.
Videos posted on the Internet in the Kurdish region of Iran on Saturday showed shopkeepers going on strike in several cities in the northwest of the Kurdish region, including Sanandaj, Saghez and Bukanda.
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Dubai newsroom in Berlin and reporting by Victoria Valders, Leon Malherbe and Oliver Denzer; Written by Tom Perry; Edited by Alex Richardson and Christina Fincher
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