Anniversary of Mahsa Amini's Tragic Passing Sparks Renewed Protests in Iran


In a poignant display of remembrance, protests swept across Iran on Saturday, marking the first anniversary of the untimely demise of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who tragically lost her life while in the custody of Iran's morality police. Amini had been apprehended on charges of purportedly not adhering to the prescribed headscarf protocol.

Video footage obtained by CNN documented fervent demonstrations in various cities across Iran, including the capital, Tehran, as well as Mashad, Ahvaz, Lahijan, Arak, and the Kurdish enclave of Senandaj.

A prevalent rallying cry heard from the protesters was "Women, Life, Freedom," echoing the nationwide outcry that ensued following Amini's passing last year. Some demonstrators also voiced vehement slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

To demonstrate a show of authority, armed guards were deployed in numerous cities, and scenes of police officers pursuing protesters were witnessed in the northern city of Lahijan.

The resonance of the protests extended far beyond Iran's borders, with commemorative gatherings held in cities worldwide, including Paris, Brussels, and Berlin.

Many expressed a profound sense of duty to speak out, recognizing the voices that remain stifled within Iran. In London, hundreds convened to observe the one-year milestone. A female protester conveyed to CNN, "We just wanted to let everyone know that this is not going to finish. Our battle has started and we are not going to stop until freedom for Iran, until a revolution, until we kick the mullahs out of the power."

Protest organizer Ellie Borhan made a powerful statement by publicly cutting her hair on stage, amidst the sea of protesters.

In a disconcerting development, Iranian journalists and human rights groups reported the detainment of Amjad Amini, Mahsa's father, by authorities on Saturday. Maziar Bahari, an Iranian journalist and founder of the IranWire activist outlet, disclosed to CNN that Amjad Amini had been recurrently summoned by security officials in the months following his daughter's passing. On Saturday, he was detained for several hours.

The Amini family paid a visit to Mahsa's resting place in the western Kurdish city of Saqqez on the eve of the one-year anniversary, as reported by IranWire. Helicopters hovered over the Aichi cemetery, while a significant presence of military and police personnel was observed throughout the area.

The subsequent day, Amjad, along with his son, were detained for three to four hours. His son received a stern warning, cautioning that he would be exiled to a remote village if he encouraged participation in ceremonies honoring the anniversary of Mahsa's passing, according to Bahari's account to CNN.

Reports surfaced of the prior arrest of Amini's uncle, Safa Aeli, who resides in the city of Saqqez, corroborated by a family member and the Human Rights Activists News Agency.

In response to allegations made by Iranian journalists and human rights organizations, authorities vehemently refuted claims of Amjad Amini's detainment. They asserted, instead, that they had thwarted "an assassination attempt," as reported by the state media outlet, IRNA.

According to IRNA, the Political, Security, and Social Vice Governor of Kurdistan apprehended several members of what was described as "a terrorist group" with intentions to assassinate Amini, dismissing the assertions of Iranian journalists and human rights groups as baseless.