A rally soon after the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022
UPDATE 1239 GMT:
A scene from Tehran on Saturday….
Undeterred by the threat of lethal state violence, two females in Tehran stood on a platform in peaceful defiance agains the state's forced-hijab law as onlookers cheered + honked on the anniversary of the "Woman, Life, Freedom" movement in #Iran. #Mahsa_Amini#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/hoJY9Wd0gx
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) September 16, 2023
UPDATE 1202 GMT:
Among those injured by Iranian security forces on Saturday was Fardin Jafari, 27, shot in the head at the Aichi Cemetery in Saqqez in northwest Iran.
Security forces surrounded the cemetery to prevent people going to the grave of Mahsa Amini, marking the first anniversary of her death in police custody.
Authorities claimed that “a team linked to terrorist groups”, using Iranian military uniforms, plotted to fire at protesters in Saqqez. They said four individuals were arrested.
UPDATE 1114 GMT:
Prominent actor Hanieh Tavassoli has been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location after she posted a tribute to Mahsa Amini as a “legend”.
Iranian authorities gave no reason for the detention.
UPDATE, 1047 GMT:
The US has added 25 Iranian officials, three State media outlets, and an internet censorship firm to its sanctions blacklist, citing them over the repression of protests after the death of Mahsa Amini.
Gholamali Mohammadi, the head of Iran’s Prisons Organization, was added over serious human rights abuses including torture and rape. Press TV, Tasnim News, and the Revolutionary Guards-linked Fars News were blacklisted.
The sanctions were coordinated with the EU, Britain, Canada, and Australia. London named Iran’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, and Iran Police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi.
The European Union added a Revolutionary Guards commander, two regional police chiefs and a prison head.
UPDATE, SEPT 17:
Heavily-armed Iranian security forces tried to deter mass protests across the country on Saturday, the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
The forces mobilized in areas such as Iranian Kurdistan, Amini’s native region, and in the capital Tehran.
Despite the security presence, there were scattered demonstrations. Videos showed people gathered on a main avenue in Tehran, cheering a protesting couple with drivers honking car horns in support.
Other residents in Tehran shouted slogans against the Supreme leader, including “Death to the Dictator!”. In the Gohardasht district of Karaj, west of Tehran, a group of demonstrators chanted, “We are a great nation, and will take back Iran” with drivers honking horns and shouting encouragement.
A video posted online reportedly from today shows people in the Iranian city of Gohardasht, Karaj, gathered in the street and chanted slogans including: "We are a great nation; we will take Iran back." #Iran #Mahsa_Amini #مهسا_امینی https://t.co/7JEUOsTXZu
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) September 16, 2023
Footage was also posted of a rally in Mashhad in northeast Iran.
The Kurdish human rights group Hengaw said security forces opened fire in the city of Mahabad in northwest Iran, wounding at least one person, and injured several people in Kermanshah.
In Amini’s home town of Saqqez, police using pellet guns seriously injured a man. The Fars News Agency, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, claimed the man “ignored a police warning”.
Arrests of protesters were reported in Tehran, Karaj, Qarchak, Isfahan, Tabriz, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Diwandareh, Baneh, Marivan, Dehdasht, Yasouj, and other cities.
Among those detained was actor and women’s rights activist Shida Saberi. Also held last year, Saberi released a video last week describing her previous arrest. She later went on the streets without a headscarf.
The Revolutionary Guards detained a dual national on an allegation of “trying to organise unrest and sabotage”, and there were several arrests of “counter revolutionaries” and “terrorists”, Iranian State media reported.
Outlets said detainees set fire to their clothes in the women’s ward of the Qarchak prison in Tehran Province. There were no casualties.
The Kurdistan Human Rights Network said special forces entered the ward, beat up women, and fired pellet bullets.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, SEPT 16: Iranians are marking the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini.
Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd from Saqqez in northwest Iran, and her brother were stopped in their car in Tehran on September 13, 2022. She was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” for “inappropriate attire”.
Collapsing in a detention center, she was taken to hospital and fell into a coma, dying three days later.
News of her death and photos of her lying comatose — broken by two women journalists who were detained and face long prison sentences — sparked nationwide protests, from Amini’s home region of Kurdistan to Sistan and Baluchistan Province in the southeast.
Trying to break the rallies, Iranian security forces have killed more than 500 protesters and arrested more than 22,000. The crackdown has dissipated the gatherings on the streets — apart from Sistan and Baluchestan, where demonstrators turn out after Friday Prayers every week in Zahedan.
However, the regime is still concerned. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, more journalists, activists, and relatives of slain protesters have been seized. Professors have been fired, and students suspended.
Having detained relatives of Mahsa Amini in recent days, Iranian security forces held her father Amjad for several hours at the Saqqez Intelligence Department, as her family visited her grave.
Heavily-armed Iranian security forces have been deployed in Saqqez, preventing people from entering the graveyard, and in Tehran.
But even if the threats and show of force limit public expression of grief and solidarity today, they are unlikely to quell the quest for rights spurred by Amini’s death.
Sarah, 40, an architect, says, “The biggest win for this movement, despite all the defeats and all the losses, is that people feel they can make a change.”
She intends to attend a covertly-planned protest on Saturday and pledges her commitment to the campaign “however hard, however long, and time-consuming”.
Having taken off her headscarf in public for the first time during protests last year, she walks through Tehran bareheaded. In March, as authorities stepped up surveillance and introduced financial penalties, she was caught on camera. When she refused to pay the fine, her car was impounded.
While maintaining the spirit of resistance, Sarah notes how “the ambiguity and anxiety” for Iranians “has caused depression and mental collapses in a lot of people around me”.