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Iran protests: Large demonstrations kick off as anger grows over executions and Ukrainian plane crash

Over the weekend, Iran saw the first major protests of the year. There were reports of tear gas and gunfire in some areas.

On Sunday, more than 25 demonstrations took place in at least 17 cities. This was the largest number of protests since 5 December.

Sky News has located every protest that had 12 or more participants since 16 September. This data was provided by the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute and supported by the Institute for the Study of War.

According to this Iranian driver, strike action took place as well. He said: “This is Kermanshah. The heart of Kurdistan on Sunday 18th. A general strike.” Sunday, the 18th of the Iranian calendar is 8 Jan in the Gregorian.


Her footage shows many shops that were closed.

Protests and strikes were held as Iranian people continued to call for large-scale changes in their country.

After Mahsa Amini’s death, demonstrations began following her detention. Police said that she was wearing her hijab (headcover) “improperly” and she was later killed in custody.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, HRANA, 519 protesters have been killed since 17 September. According to the group’s 9 January figures, almost 20,000 people were arrested and 111 are “under imminent threat of death sentence”.

On Sunday, civil unrest was also fueled by anger at the three-year-old downing of a civilian plane from Ukraine by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. All 176 passengers on board were killed.

Two anti-aircraft missiles struck the flight 752 of Ukraine International Airlines in Tehran, Iran on January 8, 2020. Iran called it “human error”, but relatives of the victims call it a “war crime”.

Iranian forces seemed to anticipate a heightened level of protest.

Last week, cameras were installed in Javanrud in the west.

Image: Cameras were installed in Javanrud to prevent large-scale protests over the weekend. Pic: Kurdpa

The city was also occupied by security forces ahead of the weekend.

Image: Police stationed in Javanrud Pic: Kurdpa

Protests took place in the vicinity. Sky News was unable to verify this video. It shows street fires.

Two protesters were executed Saturday, possibly fuelling large-scale demonstrations on Sunday.

Mohammad Mahdi Karami, and Seyed Mohammad Hazeini were both killed Saturday. Iran sentenced them both to death for the murder of a paramilitary force soldier. This was condemned by the UN human rights office, who stated that the executions were the product of unfair trials that relied on forced confessions.

After the December murders of Majidreza Rahnavard, and Mohsen Shakar, the executions of these men were publicly confirmed.

Tensions surrounding the execution of the men continued to escalate into Monday. Authorities blocked roads leading to the burial place and fired on mourners, according to reports.

Sky News confirmed that this footage was taken outside the cemetery. It shows a man wearing a black vest firing at cars as they drive to the site.

Two other men are expected to be executed soon. To stop the murders of Mohammad Ghobadloo (also known by Gohardasht Prison), and Mohammad Boroughani, dozens of Iranians gathered at Rajaeshahr prison (also called Gohardasht Prison).

Mohammad Ghobadloo, 23, gave a speech. The crowd embraced her and chanted “Honourable Iranian!” Support! Support!”

They were to be executed Monday morning, but protestors outside the prison delayed executions.

On Sunday, other protests were held across the country.

Social media users reported gunfire at Karaj and Mashad. Sky News could not independently verify these claims.

Protesters were beaten by forces in Tehran and Bandar-e Anzali.

This footage shows smoke from tear gas cannisters. You can hear repeated bangs as protestors run down Bandar-e Anzali’s main street.

Iran restricts press freedom. Information shared by protesters on social media, which they manage to avoid the state’s attempts at blocking them from uploading evidence online, is a large part of the information that we know about the situation.

Since September protests began, Sky News has been watching this footage. There has been less footage emerging, and the audio distortion and blurring used to mask faces and voices seems to have become more extensive over the past two months.

It is therefore difficult to report and verify what is going on within the borders of the country.

Continue reading:

Amir Nasr Azadani: Iranian footballer sentenced for participating in protests to 16 years imprisonment

Iran protests: Who murdered this man? CCTV provides vital evidence of a lethal attack

Experts claim that protesters are more likely to leave their phones at home than before. This is because they are often harassed for filming protests and being found with footage of them being arrested.


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