In defiance of increased security measures put in place as part of a violent crackdown on women-led rallies, Iranian mourners flocked to Mahsa Amini’s grave on Wednesday to mark 40 days since her passing.
Iranian security forces fired guns and launched tear gas at protesters in Saqez, the home town of Mahsa Amini, following commemorations for her death on Wednesday, the Hengaw rights group said.
“Security forces have shot tear gas and opened fire on people in Zindan square, Saqez city,” Hengaw, a Norway-based group that monitors rights violations in Kurdistan, said on Twitter.
“Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator”, hundreds of men and women chanted at the Aichi cemetery in Saqez, Amini’s home town in the western province of Kurdistan, in videos shared online.
Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman of Kurdish descent who was arrested by the infamous morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code for women while visiting Tehran with her younger brother, passed away on September 16, three days after her imprisonment.
The strongest wave of protests to shake the Islamic republic in nearly three years began last month after anger erupted during her funeral. The movement has been spearheaded by young ladies and schoolgirls who have engaged security personnel on the street while burning their hijabs.
Overnight, Saqez’s officials tightened security, stationing officers in the city’s main square and apparently blocking off the city’s entrances.
Despite this, mourners went to her graveside early on Wednesday to mark the completion of 40 days since her passing and the completion of the customary Iranian period of mourning.
In videos posted online by activists and human rights organisations, they can be seen travelling along a highway, across fields, and even across a river in vehicles, motorcycles, and on foot.
Hundreds of mourners had gathered at the cemetery located eight kilometres (five miles) outside Saqez, in images that the Hengaw rights group told AFP it had verified.