Crowds clash after crowds gather at Mahsa Amini’s grave

Thousands of mourners flocked to the Iranian cemetery where Massa Amini was buried on Wednesday, defying a government crackdown to mark her death 40 days after being held in moral police custody and the end of the country’s traditional mourning period .

Security forces clashed with crowds gathered at the cemetery in Amini’s hometown of Sakiz, according to Iran’s semi-official news agency, which also said the area’s internet was subsequently cut off.

A photo posted on social media and verified by NBC News shows a young woman standing in a car with her hands in the air and her hijab removed, overlooking long lines in the city.

Three videos recorded in Saqqez also showed thick smoke billowing from nearby streets as protesters confronted nearby security forces. NBC News has verified the video.

The protests erupted after activists called for demonstrations to mark the anniversary of Amini’s detention.

Despite the intense crackdown, anti-government protests have persisted across Iran since Amini’s death last month. In addition to Sáquez, mass protests took place in cities including the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

According to NBC News’ Iran correspondent Ali Arouzi, “large crowds” poured into the streets to commemorate Amini’s death.

“They encountered an absolutely massive security presence,” he added.

Witnesses told Reuters that there were also large numbers of security personnel on the streets of several other cities.

Amini, 22, from Iran’s northwestern Kurdistan region, died in hospital three days after being arrested in Tehran on suspicion of violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

The demonstrations have posed one of the most serious challenges to the Iranian government since the 1979 revolution, with some chanting slogans against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ibrahim Raisi.

Graveyard Clash

According to the semi-official news agency ISNA, “a small number of people clashed with police forces on the outskirts of Saqqez and were dispersed during the memorial service for Mahsa Amini.” cut off. The agency reported, adding that about 10,000 people had gathered.

The region’s governor has denied reports of unrest in the province, according to the state-run IRNA news agency’s Telegram channel. The governor also said Amini’s family’s decision not to hold a memorial service and reports that the road to Saks was closed were “false.”

Security forces blocked the road to the cemetery, according to Hengaw, an organization that monitors human rights abuses in Kurdistan province, which shared a video of the crowd chanting “Women, life, freedom!” Was on the scene early Wednesday.

Iranian mourners travel to the Aichi cemetery in Saqiz on October 12 to mark the 40th day of Massa Amini's death.  February 26, 2022.
Iranian mourners marched toward Sarquez’s cemetery on Wednesday.ESN/AFP-Getty Images

Hengaw also claims that Amini’s family has been under pressure from security forces to issue a statement announcing that there will be no memorial service to mark the 40th day of her death. Human rights groups also said Amini’s brother was threatened with arrest.

NBC News was unable to verify Hengaw’s account or the identity of the man in the video.

Women and young girls have been at the forefront of anti-government protests in Iran, with videos showing them removing and burning headscarves and cutting their hair in public in blatant disdain for the clergy-run Islamic republic.

The government accused so-called “foreign enemies” of inciting the unrest.

A coroner’s report this month said Amini died of multiple organ failure and ruled out blows to the head and body as the cause of her death. Police had said Amini died after falling ill and falling into a coma, but her family said witnesses told them police beat her.

Police deny she was assaulted.

The coroner’s report also said Amini suffered a heart attack and could not be revived due to an underlying medical condition. Her family denied she had a pre-existing medical condition.

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