The Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations has condemned the crackdown on recent protests in Iran and citizens’ arrests. It called upon students and teachers to go on strike in the first week of the academic year.
More than 50 cities in Iran have been protesting the murder of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini who was killed in the custody of Iran’s Hijab police. Iranians have been taken into the streets burning their hijab and protesting the Islamic establishment for their policies including the imposition of compulsory hijab on women.
This is the second public call for a strike in Iran. Earlier, a group of civil activists and human rights defenders issued a call for a general strike in response to the murder of Mahsa Amini by the government. They have called upon independent labor unions and workers in all sectors to coordinate and organize and go on strikes starting Monday, 26th of September.
Despite the suppression of the last week’s protests and government-imposed Internet interruption, protests in different cities of Iran continue on Sunday 25th of September, the ninth day of the nationwide protests. The atmosphere of most cities is tense; security forces have been deployed across the country arresting protesters, and activists. Security forces have also used excessive force including shooting protesters with pallet guns and automatic weapons.
So far, dozens of people have been killed, hundreds have been injured, and dozens have been arrested during the protests in different cities.
As of September 24, fifty-four people have been killed in the recent protests in several Iranian cities, according to Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) based in Norway. Iranian state TV on Saturday night announced that 41 people had been killed during protests – this includes the casualties among government forces. Zamaneh Media independently confirms the identities of nine protesters killed by government forces.
The protests against the government’s murder of Mahsa started on Friday, September 16. After the medical team at Tehran’s Kasra hospital pronounced Mahsa dead; the protest shaped in front of Kasra hospital in Tehran. The protest continued after Mahsa’s funeral in her hometown of Saqqez when mourners organized a peaceful rally outside the city’s governor’s office. Security forces outside the office responded to protestors with tear gas and opened fire. Now the protest has spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died after falling into a coma following her detention by morality police enforcing hijab in Tehran. She was visiting the capital with her family from Saqqez.
The Tehran police claims Mahsa’s death resulted from a prior heart and brain condition that led to cardiac arrest and a stroke; however, in conversation with Zamaneh, Mahsa’s family states that she was healthy and had no prior health conditions.
Independent women, labor, and civil rights organizations express that the murder of Mahsa is “the result of structural and systematic violence against women.”
Activists and human rights groups outside of Iran are concerned for protestors’ safety, especially considering Iran’s recent shutdown of the Internet. During the 2019–2020 protests known as the Bloody November, the Iranian state employed the same strategy of cutting off the Internet so that the world would not get information about the atrocities carried out by government forces.
Security forces have arrested dozens of citizens, student activists, women’s rights activists, and known civil and political activists in several cities of Iran. Anyone who can mobilize or is connected to a grassroots is now a target of Iranian security forces. Families of the detainees have gathered outside prisons in their local hometowns, and the government is slow in providing information on the whereabouts of the arrestees.
There is still no information about the fate of many of those arrested during the recent protests.
Protests have spread to most Iranian cities resulting in widespread arrests. The number of protestors that have been arrested in recent days is unprecedented. The families had announced in the past days that despite the follow-up, they do not know about the fate, place of detention, and charges against the detainees.
Several journalists, including at least four female journalists, have been detained over coverage of the protests and the death of Mahsa Amini.
Photojournalist Yalda Moaiery, Nilofar Hamedi, who reported on Amini’s case, and Fatemeh Rajabi, another journalist, have been arrested. On Saturday, Vida Rabany, another female journalist, was arrested. The International Federation of Journalists confirmed the arrest of fourteen journalists.