Mahsa Amini Death: Iran Protests Enter Classrooms; Students Brave Guns & Batons
Footage from students' protests shows girls waving hijabs in the air and chanting slogans inside school premises.
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Nearly three weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran that sparked global outrage, protests by Iranian women over the feminist icon's death remain robust and have pervaded the country's classrooms.
School girls and university students are demonstrating to demand a change in the hardline Iranian regime. Visuals circulated on social media showed girl students marching on streets sans hijabs in Karaj and Sanandaj, raising the call of "“Zan. Zendegi. Azadi (Women. Life. Freedom)."
On Sunday, 2 October, the country's premier educational institute Sharif University turned into a warzone. Hundreds of protesting students were trapped in the parking lot of the university by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps clamping down on the agitation.
While the women's movement had began as an outcry over Amini's death under suspicious circumstances after she was detained by the Morality Police for breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab and modest clothes, it has evolved into a widespread call for amendment of Iran's governance.
At Sharif University, Guns & Batons Showered on Students
The conflict at Sharif University of Technology began when protesting students refused to join classes on the first day of school, asserting their support in favour of the women's movement.
The Iranian security forces had reportedly surrounded the institute for several hours, and had launched a violent crackdown on the students' demonstration. The university’s official newspaper, the Sharif Daily, reported that the riot police fired rounds at large groups of students in the campus parking lot.
“They had guns, they had paintball guns, they had batons,” the friend of a student who was present at the site was quoted as saying by CNN. “They were using gases… [that are] banned internationally… it was a war zone… there was blood everywhere," he added.
Several students were arrested in the raid, as per local media. The state-run IRNA news website said no one was killed during the unrest at Sharif University.
After the havoc, classes at the university have switched to online mode.
Waving Hijabs, Students Call for 'Death to Dictator'
Widely circulated footage from the students' protests shows girls waving their hijabs in the air and chanting slogans inside school premises.
A photograph on Twitter showed girls raising their hijabs over their heads and making an irreverent gesture at the portraits of Ayatollah Khamenei and the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini installed inside their classroom.
School girls blocked traffic on a main road in the southern city of Shiraz while holding their headscarves in the air and shouting "death to the dictator."
In Karaj, girls forced an education official out of their school, as per the report. In a video of the alleged incident, the students can be heard shouting "shame on you" and throwing what appear to be empty water bottles at the man in the school yard.
At least 154 people, including children have been killed in the state's crackdown on protests across Iran after Amini's death, as per a report published on Tuesday by Iran Human Rights, a non-profit organisation.
The most killings have been reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mazandaran, Gilan and West Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, in a Parliament session in Iran on Sunday, lawmakers of the nation chanted “thank you, thank you, police," expressing their gratitude to the security forces for curbing the demonstrations.
Biden Announces 'Further Costs' on Iran, Khamenei Blames US & Israel for 'Riots'
United States will impose "further costs" on Iran for its lethal crackdown on civilian protests, President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday.
"The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery," Biden said, noting that he was gravely concerned about reports of the intensifying violent crackdown on peaceful protestors in Iran.
"This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protestors. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely."US President Joe Biden
The US is also holding accountable Iranian officials and entities, such as the morality police, that are responsible for employing violence to suppress civil society, as per the White House statement.
This came a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei made his first comments on the anti-government protests, accusing the US and Israel of being responsible for the "riots."
“I say explicitly that these riots and this insecurity were a design by the US and the occupying, fake Zionist regime [Israel] and those who are paid by them, and some traitorous Iranians abroad helped them,” he was quoted as saying in an address delivered to cadets at a police university in Tehran.
Khamenei described Mahsa Amini's death as a "bitter incident" that "deeply broke my heart."
On 22 September, Washington had imposed sanctions Iran’s Morality Police as well as seven leaders of Iranian security organisations, saying that the concerned entities "routinely employ violence to suppress peaceful protestors and members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists, and members of the Iranian Baha’i community."
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Topics: Iran Mahsa Amini Iran Hijab Protests
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