Conflicts & War

Shouting from the window: a safer form of protest in Iran

By Jaime León

Tehran, Sep 29 (EFE).- As night falls in Iran the sound of shouted slogans can be heard from residential buildings as protesters use the cover of darkness to protect their identities while demonstrating against the death of Mahsa Amini.

The calls begin just before 10pm. They are quiet at first, but crescendo into a choir.

“Death to the dictator,” they shout. “Death to Khamenei, death to the Islamic Republic.”

The nightly routine that started in northern Tehran wealthy neighborhoods has now spread to other parts of the city. Drivers join the chorus by beeping their horns.

“It’s a safe form of protesting,” a local resident told Efe. The woman, a mother of a one-year old girl, said she is scared of joining the protests on the streets, although admires the young demonstrators challenging the regime.

She wants her daughter to grow up in a “different Iran,” the woman, speaking on the condition of anonymity, added.

The demonstrations that erupted on September 16 have weakened following numerous clashes with police forces.

At least 41 have been killed in the unrest, according to the latest reports from state media four days ago.

However, an Iranian NGO based in Oslo put that number at 76.

Another woman who lives in the eastern part of the city told Efe that the shouting is heard in her neighborhood as well, but one hour earlier.

This form of protesting has emerged every time there is tension in the country, including during the 2019 fuel protests in which roughly 300 people died.

Amini’s family announced Wednesday that they have sued the officials from the so-called morality police that detained the 22-year old woman for allegedly not wearing her hijab in accordance with the country’s strict Islamic dress code on September 13.

Amini died three days later.

In a televised broadcast Wednesday night, president Ebrahim Raisi said the “sad” death of Amini would be thoroughly investigated, adding that the protests had been “unacceptable riots.”

He congratulated the armed forces for their help in stopping the “chaos.”

In the last two weeks, protests have met strong repression from the police and the Basij — volunteers in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard— as well as an Internet shutdown during the afternoon and nighttime periods, when the protests happen. EFE


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