UPDATE 1505 GMT:

Authorities are blaming Ali Karimi, one of Iran’s most famous football players, as a leader of the “riots” and “sedition” of the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini (pictured) in police custody.

Karimi, the former captain of Iran’s national team, now lives in Dubai. He has posted on social media, including to almost 12 million followers on Instagram, in support of the demonstrations.

“Don’t be afraid of strong women. Maybe the day will come when they are your only army,” Karimi tweeted to more than 450,000 followers.

He has called for unity while chastising the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, labelled as “terrorist” by the Iranian regime, for seeking to exploit the protests.

Karimi also posted advice about safe virtual private networks (VPN) to bypass the regime’s clampdown on the Internet.


UPDATE 0848 GMT:

A scene from Tehran:


UPDATE 0830 GMT:

Pushing regime propaganda that foreign powers are behind the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have pledged that they will attack areas outside the country.

Brig. Gen. Abbas Nilforooshan, the IRGC’s deputy chief for operations, justified Monday’s strikes on Kurdish camps in northern Iraq: “We will target the counter-revolution [agents] wherever they create a stronghold, become the origin of operations against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and direct and lead terrorist movements.”

Niforooshan proclaimed that the “bases” were directing protests in the Kurdish areas of northwest Iran, where Amini was born and lived.


UPDATE, SEPT 27:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports on the funeral for Hadis Najafi, a prominent TikToker, who was killed by Iranian security forces last weekend:


UPDATE 1941 GMT:

An eyewitness says Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of Iranian police, spoke of being struck on the head by an officer.

The eyewitness had also been arrested for “improper hijab”. She gave an accounto to Saudi-funded Iran International.

She said she heard from others in the police station that Amini had hesitated to step out of the police van. An officer hit her on the head and forced her to exit.

In the wwaiting room, Amini repeatedly asked female guards why she had been arrested, given her attire was proper. The guards aggressively dismissed her questions and complaints.

When Amini collapsed, other women screamed for medical help. The guards said Amini was pretending to be ill to get out of detention. After 30 minutes, a paramedic showed, but Amini had turned white and seemed to enter a coma.

After an hour, a doctor showed up and tried to resuscitate Amini. After another 30 minutes an ambulance arrived to take her to hospital.


UPDATE 1821 GMT:

A woman ties her hair back on Saturday night before facing Iranian security forces during the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

The woman was mistakenly identified as another protester, Hadis Najafi, who was shot and killed by the security forces in Karaj.


UPDATE 0748 GMT:

Protesters in Ebtekan in western Iran — near the hometown of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody on September 16 sparked nationwide demonstrations — chant “Death to Basiji [regime militia]”:


UPDATE, SEPT 26:

Iran has lashed out at the Biden Administration’s easing of restrictions of Internet software and hardware supplied to people in the country.

Having clamped down on the Internet amid the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini, the Supreme National Security Council wrote in a report, “The US committing to such a level of interference in Iran’s domestic affairs is an issue that cannot be ignored and our country will definitely make a necessary response.”

Elon Musk said on Sunday that Starlink is now operational inside Iran, bypassing the regime’s Internet restrictions — but only if someone has the requisite terminal.

Iran Telecoms Minister Issa Zarepour ruled out the possibility of any rollout of Starlink, and said there will be legal consequences if Musk proceeds. The Supreme National Suecrity Council echoed the threat.


UPDATE 1946 GMT:

The European Union has firmly condemned Iran’s deadly suppression of protests and hinted that it may impose sanctions if the crackdown continues.

For the European Union and its member states, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unjustifiable and unacceptable. People in Iran, as anywhere else, have the right to peaceful protest. That right must be ensured in all circumstances.

The EU and its member states urge the Iranian authorities to strictly abide by the principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. Therefore, we expect Iran to immediately stop the violent crackdown on protests and ensure internet access, as well as the free flow of information. Furthermore, we expect Iran to clarify the number of deaths and arrested, release all non-violent protestors and provide due process to all detainees. Moreover, the killing of Mahsa Amini must be duly investigated and any proved responsible for her death must be held accountable….

The European Union will continue to consider all the options at its disposal ahead of the next Foreign Affairs Council, to address the killing of Mahsa Amini and the way Iranian security forces have responded to the ensuing demonstrations.


UPDATE 1855 GMT:

Elon Musk claims Starlink is now operational inside Iran, bypassing the regime’s Internet restrictions — but only if someone has the requisite terminal.


UPDATE 1006 GMT:

A scene from Iran’s capital on Saturday night:


UPDATE 0958 GMT:

Portraying the protests as instigated by foreigners, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the UK Ambassador to claim Britain is hosting Persian-language TV channels “provoking” the demonstrations.


UPDATE 0947 GMT:

Punishing Kurds over the spreading protests, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have attacked bases in northern Iraq.

The Guards claimed they fired rockets to “destroy the positions of anti-Iran terrorist groups affiliated with global arrogance in northern Iraq who have in recent days trespassed on Iran’s northwestern borders and attacked some border bases of our country”.

With demonstrations spreading in Iran Kurdistan, Iranian authorities are proclaiming that separatist Kurdish groups are behind the protests.


UPDATE 0940 GMT:

Hoping to turn back the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, the Iranian regime is staging its second set of rallies in three days.

The regime scheduled the gatherings after Friday marches brought out far smaller crowds than desired, with thousands in Tehran and other cities in contrast to the “millions” declared by State media.

The proclamation of “millions” is being made again today.


UPDATE, SEPT 25:

Protests are now reported in more than 80 Iranian cities and towns.

The demonstrations are especially prominent in the capital Tehran and in the Kurdish region of northwest Iran where Amini grew up and lived.

Protesters reportedly took control of the small Kurdish city of Oshnavieh, population 40,000, for a brief period of time after local security forces retreated.

“Since last night, Oshnavieh has been governed by the people,” Kurdish official Hussein Yazdanpana said, with women taking off head covering in celebration. “The liberation has far-reaching consequences for other cities.”

Ammar Golie, an Iranian Kurd based in Germany who edits the news site NNS Roj, said residents set up roadblocks on the city’s only two roads. Video showed large crowds marching and chanting, “Freedom”, and fighting near the police station.

Local sources said an army battalion and a Revolutionary Guards unit from the nearby city of Oroumiyeh were deployed to suppress the protests.

See also Iran’s Mahsa Amini Protests: “This Time, We Won’t Back Down. They Can’t Kill All of Us”

Iran’s Mahsa Amini Protests Resonate Across Iraq

On Friday, upon his return from New York and the UN General Assembly, President Ebrahim Raisi warned that the regime will “not allow, under any circumstances, for the security of the country and public to be jeopardized”.

With Internet access blocked, the Intelligence Ministry sent a text message to all mobile phones that anyone participating in the demonstrations will be punished.


UPDATE 1829 GMT:

Iranian authorities have now arrested 17 journalists since the start of the protests.


UPDATE 1827 GMT:

A scene from Tehran on Friday evening:


UPDATE, SEPT 24:

Iranian authorities have acknowledged at least 35 people killed during the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

The official say five of the slain are police officers and members of the Basij militia.

Thousands of people marched through Tehran in a regime-organized event on Friday, praising security forces and denouncing “conspirators”. The number was far less than the “millions” proclaimed by State media.

Marchers called protesters “Israel’s soldiers” and chanted, “Offenders of the Koran must be executed.”

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi insisted that officials was investigating the cause of Amini’s death: “We must wait for the final opinion of the medical examiner, which takes time.”

But he then swept aside that “investigation” by prejudging it: “Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating.”


UPDATE 1327 GMT:

Iranian security forces have arrested at least one journalist amid the protests.

Photojournalist Yalda Moayeri was arrested while covering protests earlier this week.


UPDATE, SEPT 22:

Human rights groups say at least 10 demonstrators have been killed during protests over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Iranian media and a local prosecutor said eight people have been killed, including a police officer and a member of the Basij militia.

Despite the mobilization of security forces, the demonstrators are chanting, “Mullahs Get Lost”, “We Don’t Want an Islamic Republic”, and “Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei”. Women burned hijabs.

Authorities further restricted Internet access on Wednesday, cutting off Instagram. “For security reasons, the relevant authorities may impose certain restrictions on internet speed,” said Information and Communications Technology Minister Issa Zarepour in a statement.

In an 87-minute speech in Tehran on Wednesday, the Supreme Leader did not refer to Mahsa Amini or the protests.

Instead, authorities are trying to counter with State-organized rallies on Friday and with the portrayal of the demonstrations as a foreign plot involving NATO, Saudi Arabia, BBC Persian, and the MKO “terrorist” organization.

English-language State outlet Press TV took a more measured line, stating that “protests were reported in Mahsa Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, Tehran, and a number of other cities” demanding “clarification on circumstances surrounding the death of the 22-year-old woman”. It added the Iran regime’s line, “Some protests have turned violent, leading to attacks on police and acts of vandalism.”


UPDATE, SEPT 21:

Tehran University’s Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a de facto English-language spokesman for Iran’s authorities, has tried to quash concern over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody by blaming “the West”.

They encourage violence. They impose sanctions. They helped Saddam Hussein in his war on Iran. They helped the Sha stay in power. They gave Saddam chemical weapons. They have no rights to speak about human rights, neither to Iranian people nor anyone else.

Marandi claimed, without evidence, that reports on Amini’s death — following her detention by “morality police” over “improper hijab”, with witnesses saying she was beaten — were spread by the “MKO terrorist organization”, funded by the European Union and the US.

Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani warned the US and its allies that they should not pursue “opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights” by mentioning Amini’s death.


UPDATE 1758 GMT:

The top medical official in Hormozgan Province in southern Iran has pushed back the assertion of Iranian officials that Mahsa Amini died from natural causes in custody.

Reviewing images of Amini (pictured), Dr. Hossein Karampour wrote Mohammad Raeiszadeh, the President of the Iranian Medical Council, that it was unlikely she perished from a heart attack. Instead, the most likely cause was a blow to the head.

Karampour urged the Council to “act honestly and courageously to clarify and reveal the truth” about Amini’s death.


UPDATE 1746 GMT:

The governor of Kordestan Province in northwest Iran has confirmed the killing of three protesters.

Esmail Zarei-Kousha said the victims were slain during “illegal gatherings”. He claimed — without evidence — “These people were shot and killed by the enemies of the regime and with weapons that none of the security and military forces in the province use.”


UPDATE 1110 GMT:

The Kurdish rights organization Hengaw says Iranian security forces killed three protesters in demonstrations on Monday over the death of Mahsa Amini (pictured) in police custody.

Hengaw said there were protests in 13 cities, with more than 250 people arrested.

The killings were in protests in cities across Iranian Kurdistan, including Amini’s hometown of Saghez, in the northwest of the country.


UPDATE 0950 GMT:

Journalist Golnaz Esfandiari features striking images from protests, including a large crowd gathered in Tehran, women with their heads uncovered, and one woman burning her hijab:

Esfiandiari also posts a cartoon echoing and updating the image of the pro-democracy rising in China in 1989:


UPDATE, SEPT 20:

Protests are growing in Iran’s capital Tehran over the death of Mahsa Amini after she was seized by “morality police” last week.

Near Vali Asr Square, Keshavarz Boulevard, and other central locations, some women removed their headscarves in solidarity with Amini, who was detained for “improper hijab”.

Demonstrators refused orders to disperse by Iranian security forces:

Fars News, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, acknowledged the protests while trying to minimize them as “less than 300 people”.

There were also rallies in northwest Iran, where Amini lived, with reports of the detention of at least 10 demonstrators.


UPDATE 1043 GMT:

Iranian newspapers are reporting that the head of Iran’s “morality police” has been removed following the death of Mahsa Amini (pictured) in custody.

The Greater Tehran Police say have not been informed of any official decision.


UPDATE 1000 GMT:

While denying responsibility, Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said of the death of Mahsa Amini, “This incident was unfortunate for us and we wish to never witness such incidents.”

Rahimi maintined that Amini was not mistreated in police custody: “Cowardly accusations have been levelled against the Iranian police. We will wait until the day of judgment but we cannot stop doing security work.”

He added that the “morality police”, who seized Amini over her hijab and allegedly beat her, were “doing positive work”.

Rahimi’s statement further undermined the pledge of President Ebrahim Raisi that the cause of Amini’s death will be investigated.

Raisi called Amini’s family on Sunday and mainiained, that when he heard of the death on Friday, “I immediately ordered my colleagues [in the administration] to investigate this as a special case….Rest assured that I will demand the concerned state bodies to follow up on this case until all its aspects come into the light.”


UPDATE, SEPT 19:

A source from the hospital where Mahsa Amini was treated said her head injury indicated that she received “multiple blows”.

Amini died on Friday after falling into a coma and showing no brain activity. Witnesses said she was beaten after she was seized by “morality police” over her hijab, and subsequently collapsed in a police station.

The source confirmed that Amini was already unresponsive when authorities delivered her at the hospital last Tuesday. Her lungs were filled with blood, and she “could not be revived”.

She could not be saved nor was surgery possible because her brain tissue was seriously damaged. it was clear that the patient was not injured by a single punch and must have received many blows to her head.

In an interview with an Iranian newspaper, Amini’s father reiterated, “She did not have any disease. Those who say that she had epilepsy or underlying disease are lying.”

Insisting that Amini died of natural causes, Iranian authorities have said Amini had underlying hydrocephalus, a historic brain tumor, diabetes, and epilepsy.

Amini’s mother said on Friday that her daughter was in “perfect health condition”.

Amini’s father explained:

The other girls arrested with Mahsa called me and said she’d been beaten.

When taking her for forensic examination, [Iranian authorities] didn’t let me in. They insisted they bury her overnight. I asked them to examine her bruises, but they ignored me.


UPDATE, SEPT 18:

At Saturday’s funeral of Mahsa Amini, who died in custody after her arrest by Iran’s morality police, women remove their hijab. The crowd chants “Death to the Dictator”, referring to the Supreme Leader:


UPDATE 1837 GMT:

Tehran’s Kasra Hospital has said Mahsa Amini was clinically dead when she was admitted on Tuesday.

The hospital said she had suffered a cardiac arrest and showing “no vital signs” with mydrasis — “brain death” when authorities delivered her.

The hospital said doctors revived her pulse but she suffered another cardiac arrest on Friday: “Due to the brain death, the team’s efforts to revive her were unsuccessful and the patient died.”

Amid criticism by hardliners that medical staff are “anti-regime agents”, the hospital deleted the post.


UPDATE 1828 GMT:

Claims are circulating that Iran’s security forces have shot and seriously wounded a demonstrator at the funeral of Mahsa Amini , who died in custody after her arrest by “morality police”.

Video from Amini’s hometown of Saghez in northwest Iran shows a nearly unconscious man bleeding from his head as he is carried to a hospital.

One man says in Kurdish, “They shot him in the brain”. Another says he was struck with a pellet.

Footage of gunfire on the protesters:


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Mahsa Amini, 22, died in custody on Friday, three days after she was detained by Iran’s “morality police” over the compulsory wearing of hijab.

Doctors in Tehran declared Amini’s death after she fell into a coma and showed no brain activity.

Eyewitnesses to her arrest said Amini appeared to have been beaten inside the morality police van as she was taken to the detention center.

As reports of her death spread, protesters gathered outside the hospital. They chanted, “Death to the Dictator” — a reference to the Supreme Leader — as drivers honked their car horns in a nearby square. Security forces mobilized to contain the demonstration, and access to the Internet was restricted in the Iranian capital.

The Oscar-winning Iranian film director Ashgar Farhadi posted a photo of the hospitalized Amini on Instagram, commenting:

You are more awake than anyone and we are all in a coma.

We have put ourselves to sleep against this endless cruelty.

We are partners in this crime.

Amini had traveled from Lorestan Province in western Iran to Tehran to meet relatives. She was walking alongside her brother when she was seized and put inside the police van. A few hours later, her family was told that she was in hospital.

A woman in the same police van told Radio Zamaneh:

On the way [to the detention center], a fierce altercation took place between the detainees and the officers, and Mrs. Amini and I were among those who protested our detention.

During these alterations, officers tried to silence us with physical force. And Ms. Amini was beaten, but she was conscious when we arrived at the detention center, although she was physically very disoriented.

Another woman described what occurred after the detainees were gathered at the police station for “education”:

I saw [Mahsa] fall to the ground and hit her head on the chair. A woman belonging to the morality patrol was standing over her….

Everybody was screaming and crying. The girl who was holding Mahsa in her arms said: “Be quiet. Her blood pressure has dropped. It’s nothing.” At that moment the paramedic was injecting something into Mahsa’s arm. But suddenly he laid her out on the floor and started giving her CPR.

I looked at Mahsa’s face. You could only see whites of her eyes. We were all horrified. We screamed, and shouted: “You murderers! You killed her!”

Doctors who have examined photos of Amini in hospital say they suggest she had a scalp base fracture, indicating she may have suffered a blow to the head. They noted that the symptoms of the fracture can take hours to appear.

Speaking shortly before the confirmation of her daughter’s death, Mojgan Amini, said, “My daughter was in perfect health before her arrest.”

She said the family has filed a complaint with the Tehran police.

Protests continued on Saturday after Amini’s funeral in her hometown of Saghez:

Cracking Down on Women

Iran’s hardline authorities have stepped up the “morality police” patrols and the enforcement of compulsory hijab with arrests and detentions.

In July, women challenged the regime’s “National Hijab and Chastity Day”. Hundreds took to the streets, removed their headscarves, posted videos of themselves on social media, or simply stood in protest.

The #No2Hijab campaign gained international attention, but it only prompted further repression. Following an encounter with a woman from the “morality police”, Writer and artist Sepideh Rashno was detained and reportedly beaten before making a forced “confession” on State TV.

Highlighting Rashno’s case, more than,1,000 Iranian citizens and civil activists signed a statement protesting “four decades of oppression of Iranian women”: “We shout together that liberation is our right, and our strength is in our banding together.”

Covering Up A Death

As protests built over Amini’s death, President Ebrahimi Raisi said there will be an investigation.

However, his statement had already been undercut by an apparent attempt by officials to cover up the circumstances.

The media center of the Tehran police department denied the eyewitness reports that Amini was beaten. It said she was transferred to a Tehran police departments in Tehran for “justification and education” when she “suddenly suffered a heart problem”.

Authorities put out closed-circuit television footage, via State TV, that shows Amini falling over after getting up from her seat at the police station.

However, the footage was edited, had no sound, and did not show the moment of Amini’s arrest.

“Her Death is Unforgivable”

Amnesty International called for an investigation into the “suspicious” death:

The so-called “morality police” in Tehran arbitrarily arrested her three days before her death while enforcing the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws. All agents and officials responsible must face justice.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reacted:

Robert Malley, the Biden Administration’s envoy for Tehran, echoed, “Mahsa Amini’s death after injuries sustained in custody for an ‘improper’ hijab is appalling. Iran must end its violence against women for exercising their fundamental rights.”