Protesters in Javanrud in northwest Iran, December 31, 2022

UPDATES: Iran Protests — 100 Detainees Face Death Penalty


Award-winning actor Taraneh Alidoosti has been released from 17 days in detention.

Alidoosti was seized on December 17. Her “crime” was to post on Instagram about the execution of protester Mohsen Shekari nine days earlier: “His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”

Alidoosti had escaped arrest — unlike a series of colleagues seized by authorities — over a photo of herself on her Instagram page without compulsory hijab. She held the slogan of Iran’s protests, “Women, Life, Freedom”. The November 10 post was liked more than 1 million times.

But her challenge to the hasty executions of Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard, the first two protesters put to death by the regime, crossed the line for Iran’s authorities. Her house was raided, and she was taken to an unknown location.


Trying to counter the nationwide protests for rights, justice, and gender equality, the Supreme Leader met a handpicked group of women on Wednesday.

Ayatollah Khamenei did not address the issues raised by 3 1/2 months of demonstrations. Instead, he attacked the “West”:

On the issue of women, our stance towards the hypocritical Western claimants is a position of demand, not defense….We demand answers from them. They are guilty with regards to the issue of women; they are to blame. They have really inflicted harm. They have committed crimes.


Journalists Saba Sherdoust and Milad Fadaee-Asl were freed on Tuesday from Tehran’s Evin Prison after almost two months in detention.

Shardoust and Fadaee-Asl, who are married, were arrested on October 10 over their coverage of nationwide protests.

A freelance correspondent, Sherdoust covered local news for sites such as Tribune Zamaneh and The Feminist School.


Iran’s Supreme Court has revoked the death sentences imposed on three detainees, but confirmed the capital punishment of two others.

The Iranian judiciary announced that sentences for Hamid Qarahasanlou, Hossein Mohammadi, and Reza Aria are being revoked “due to a flaw in the investigation”.

The appeals of Mohammad Mahdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, condemned over the same incident, were rejected.

Authorities accused 16 protesters over the death of a Basij militiaman. All 16 deny the charges and say they were targeting for participation in the protests for rights, justice, and gender equality.

The other 11 detainees, including three minors, have been given lengthy prison sentences.


The commander of a Revolutionary Guards unit in Tehran was assassinated in front of his home Tuesday.

Iranian outlets said Qassem Fethallahi was shot four times. He was an officer with the Mohammad Rasulullah Guards of Greater Tehran, a Revolutionary Guards division which has merged with the Basij militia.

Fethallahi was a commander in the Tharallah headquarters, which has been prominent in the repression of protests in and around Tehran.


An Iranian chess grandmaster will not return to the country after competing without a hijab in an international tournament in Kazakhstan.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, better known as Sara Khadem, arrived in Spain on Tuesday. A “source close to her” said she received warnings not to return to Iran after the photos of her without the compulsory hijab during during last week’s FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships.

The source said individuals issued the warnings in multiple phone calls to Khadem. Others said she should come back, promising to “solve her problem”.

The source also said Khadem’s relatives and parents, still in Iran, have received threats.


The mother of Nima Shafaghsoost speaks of his death after he was shot in the leg by security forces last month.

Bystanders and neighbors took in Shafaghdoost, and his family — afraid of taking him to hospital because of the possibility of detention — brought in a doctor to treat him. However, he died due to complications from his injuries.

The local coroner and security forces said Shafaghdoost died of a wound from a dog bite wound and threatened the family not to speak out.


An Iranian student at Italy’s University of Bologna has reportedly died after he was beaten in prison amid Iran’s nationwide protests.

Mehdi Zare Ashkzari, who was studying pharmacy, was released after the beatings when he felt ill in his Iranian cell. He visited his dying mother but soon fell into a coma, passing away 20 days later.

Professor Rita Monticelli, speaking at a peace march in Bologna, said, “We express all our indignation, bewilderment and pain with him and for all the Iranian students who lost their lives for everyone’s freedom. The university and the city of Bologna will continue to ask for justice and the intervention of the institutions.”


An 18-year-old protester has been given two death sentences for “corruption on Earth” and “waging war against God”.

Mehdi Mohammadifard was arrested on September 30 during demonstrations in Nowshahr in northern Iran. He was accused of helping organize and lead a rally on September 21.

Mohammadifard has reportedly denied access to a lawyer of his choice while in prison. His family said his “confessions” were coerced through torture.


The family of journalist Keyvan Samimi have denied reports in reformist media that he was released from prison this weekend (see JAN 2 Update).


Mehdi Ghadimi is the latest journalist arrested by Iran’s authorities.

Officials in Iran, the world’s leading imprisoner of journalists, have arrested more than 70 media personnel during the nationwide protests since September 16.


Journalist Keyvan Samimi, 73, has been released after his latest imprisonment.

Samimi was sentenced in December 2020 to three years in a prison in Semnan, almost 125 miles east of Tehran.

The journalist was allowed out of prison on medical grounds in February. But he was returned in May on the pretext that he was carrying out activities against national security.

Last month he sent a message from prison supporting nationwide protests.


Iranian authorities have arrested another journalist, Milad Alavi of the reformist daily Shargh.

Officials have arrested more than 60 journalists since the start of nationwide protests on September 16. Iran is now the world’s biggest jailer of journalists per capita.

A reminder about Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who face the death penalty for their reporting of the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody:


Chants of “Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei” in a protest in Isfahan Province in central Iran on Saturday….

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Iran’s security forces have killed and wounded more protesters in the Kurdish-populated northwest of the country.

A 22-year-old man was killed and eight people wounded in a cemetery in the city of Javanrud during a 40th-day ceremony for other slain demonstrators, according to Kurdish rights group Hengaw.

Security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas. Two of the wounded are in critical condition.

The protests, sparked by compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in custody after she was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police”, are now in their 16th week.

Human rights activists report that at least 506 protesters have been killed by security forces since demonstrations began on September 16. More than 19,000 people have been arrested.