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‘Get lost’: Iran schoolgirls lead protests over Mahsa Amini death


PARIS: Iranian schoolgirls have been at the forefront of protests over the death of Mahsa Aminiremoved their headscarves and held sporadic protests despite a deadly crackdown by security forces.
Amini, 22, was pronounced dead days after infamous ethics police arrested Iranian Kurds last month for allegedly violating the republic’s strict dress code for women. Islamic.
Anger flared at her funeral and spread to become the biggest wave of protests to rock Iran in nearly three years, despite a backlash by security forces that killed scores of people and witnessed Hundreds of people were arrested.
The students regrouped last weekend before being confronted by riot police, who cornered them in an underground parking lot of Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology before taking them away.
Schoolgirls have since taken up batons across the country, removing their headscarves, chanting anti-regime slogans and tarnishing the image of state leaders.
“Death to the dictator,” a group of topless girls were heard chanting in reference to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as they forcibly forced a man, believed to be the headmaster, out of a school in Karaj, west of Tehran, on Monday in a video verified by AFP.
Another group of girls sang “Woman, life, freedom,” as they paraded down a street of Gohardasht’s Karaj neighborhood.
“These are truly extraordinary scenes. If these protests are going to achieve anything, it will be because of the schoolgirls,” Esfandyar Batmanghelidj of news and analysis website Bourse & Bazaar tweeted to reply.
Schoolgirls were also seen cleaning classrooms and showing up at flash-mob rallies to avoid detection, in another footage shared online.
A group of rowdy girls are seen shouting “Lost, Basiji”, referring to paramilitary forces, in front of a man standing on a podium in the southern city of Shiraz, in a video released social media channel 1500tasvir share.
AFP was unable to independently verify the footage.
As women-led protests drag on into their fourth week, Iran has broadened its crackdown, luring supporters of the popular movement and imposing internet restrictions restricting access to social media. festival.
On Tuesday night, Iranian pop singer Shervin Hajipour, who was arrested after his song in support of the protests went viral and became an anthem for the movement, was released on bail.
“I’m here to say I’m fine. But I apologize that some specific movements based outside of Iran – with which I have nothing to do with – used this song politically inappropriately.” he told his 1.9 million Instagram followers shortly after his release.
Meanwhile, Iran’s judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the death of teenage girl Nika Shakrami, who is believed to have been killed during the protests.
BBC Persian and Iran Wire have reported that authorities were in possession of her body and secretly buried her on Monday to avoid a funeral that could spark more protests.
According to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR), at least 92 protesters have been killed during the unrest.
Amnesty International has confirmed 53 deaths, while Fars news agency put the death toll at “about 60” last week. At least 12 security personnel were reported killed.
According to the IHR, another 63 people were killed last week when security forces “bloodyly suppressed” a protest in Zahedan, near Iran’s southeastern border with Pakistan.
Clashes broke out after Friday prayers during protests sparked by allegations that a police chief in the area raped a teenage girl from the Baluch Sunni minority, it said. .
The crackdown has drawn global condemnation.
On Tuesday, the European Union joined the United States in warning that it was seeking to impose tough new sanctions on Iran for its bloody crackdown.
Proposed sanctions targeting senior Iranian officials include “freezing their assets and travel rights”, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said.
Iran has repeatedly accused outside forces of inciting the protests and last week said nine foreign nationals – including from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland – had been detained.
On Wednesday, Iran summoned British ambassador Simon Shercliff to hear objections over “statements of interference” in the protests.
The unrest has overshadowed diplomatic efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that had come close to a breakthrough in recent months before stalling again.
But the White House said the “problems with Iran’s behavior” were separate from efforts to revive the nuclear deal.

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