DUBAI: Iranian riot police deployed in Tehran’s main squares on Wednesday to confront people chanting “death to the dictator” as nationwide protests over the death of young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody piled pressure on authorities.
Amini, 22, from the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez, was arrested on Sept. 13 in Tehran for “unsuitable attire” by the morality police who enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
She died three days later in hospital after falling into a coma, sparking the first big show of opposition on Iran’s streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in gasoline prices in 2019.
Despite a growing death toll and a crackdown by security forces using tear gas, clubs and, in some cases, live ammunition, videos posted on social media showed Iranians calling for the end of the Islamic establishment’s more than four decades in power.
Protests have continued for almost two weeks, spreading to at least 80 cities and towns around Iran, from Tehran to the southeastern port of Chabahar.
“We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back,” chanted protesters in Tehran’s Ekbatan neighbourhood, a video posted on Twitter showed.