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Iran: where are the protests, one hundred days after the death of Mahsa Amini?


FOCUS - Iran has been plagued by major protests since the death of this Iranian Kurd on 16 September. They are harshly repressed by the police.

Part of the Iranian population does not take off.

This Saturday, December 24 marked the hundredth day of protests following the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini in Iran.

On September 16, this 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died, three days after being arrested in Tehran by the morality police for "

wearing inappropriate clothes



her veil was

"poorly put on"


Demonstrations, strongly repressed, have continued since.

Such repression that Pope Francis mentioned Iran for the first time among the countries affected by tensions and violence, during his traditional Christmas message this Sunday.

According to the United Nations (UN) more than 14,000 people were arrested among the protesters.

According to

Human Rights Activists in Iran

, a group that monitors protests in the country, more than 18,000 people have already been arrested.

More than 500 demonstrators were killed, according to the same group.

Read alsoBeing a woman in Iran: diving into the intimacy of the invisible crushed by the weight of traditions

So where are we after just over 100 days of protest movement?

Le Figaro

takes stock.

Are there still demonstrations?

Since the death of Mahsa Amini, the protest has not stopped.

The demonstrations continue, "

in the form of waves of protests



assures Mahnaz Shirali, sociologist and political scientist specializing in Iran and author of

Window on Iran: The cry of a gagged people

(Les Pérégrines - 2021).


In some cities, the situation is not very agitated, in others there are a lot of demonstrations



she adds.

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According to her, “

calm has settled in the big cities


We have the impression that the demonstrators organize themselves differently there: they turn more towards actions of sabotage


she adds.

Conversely, the Iranian sociologist based in France assures that “

the protest intensifies when one moves away from the capital Tehran

[located in the north of the country, editor’s note]

especially in the regions deprived of everything

” and outlying


As in Iranian Kurdistan (west), the region where Mahsa Amini was from.

Read alsoDemonstrations in Iran: “The death of Mahsa Amini woke up Iranian men”

According to the information channel for Iranians and based in London

Iran International

, this hundredth day of protests has given rise to numerous rallies in several neighborhoods of Tehran.

Also according to

Iran International

, demonstrations also broke out in the cities of Mechhed (north-east), Sanandaj (west) or even Bandar Abbas (located on the Persian Gulf, in the south).

In Iran, the protest does not

"yet take the form of mass demonstrations



affirms David Rigoulet-Roze, associate researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris), editor-in-chief of the review "Orients Stratégiques" and author of

The Islamic Republic of Iran in Systemic Crisis

(Harmatan - 2022).

Street anger, always led by youth, is mobile, that is to say that it can take “

in a street corner, then resume in the city next door



They surprise the police, as soon as they are aware of their presence, the demonstrators disappear"



Mahnaz Shirali.

This allows protesters to protect themselves against strong repression.

Is the repression increasing?

Because it is accelerating.

The Iranian government wants to increase the risk taken by the demonstrators


analyzes Clément Therme, lecturer at the Paul-Valéry University in Montpellier and associate researcher at the International Institute for Iranian Studies.

The repression is therefore heavy.

There is a terrible ferocity in the ethno-confessional outskirts of the country, especially in the cities of Iranian Kurdistan where the Revolutionary Guards use heavy weapons

, advances David Rigoulet-Roze


This is not the case in the other cities in which the repression is not militarized


In large cities like Tehran, "

an atmosphere of terror has

taken hold "


completes Mahnaz Shirali, according to whom "

some young people are kidnapped to impress other protesters



According to her, the "

repression is increasingly strong

" and "

Iran has not known crimes of this kind

" since at least 1994, the date since which she analyzes Iranian society.

Read alsoFaezeh Hachémi, the impudent feminist who disturbs the Iranian regime

At the same time, death sentences are increasing.

Since mid-September, Iran has imposed the death penalty on eleven people and executed two.

“There are more and more summary convictions and the trials last ten minutes”

, supports Mahnaz Shirali.

Read alsoShirin Neshat: “I have rarely seen Iranians so united inside and outside the country”

On the one hand, the Iranian Supreme Court ordered that the Kurdish rapper Saman Seydi, threatened with capital punishment, be retried, after he had appealed against his conviction.

On the other hand, many personalities have been arrested for their support of the demonstrators, such as actress and women's rights activist Taraneh Alidoosti.

The defender of the Iranian football club Iranjavan Amir Nasr-Azadani is also threatened with execution, for the same reasons.


Football holds a major place in Iranian popular culture, including for women who are banned from the stadium for religious reasons,

" explains David Rigoulet-Roze.

The regime proceeds in a calculated way with the players: touching football icons would have a deep echo in Iranian society


Already on September 30, the police had fired on demonstrators gathered in Zahedan, a town located in Baluchistan in the south-east of the country, to protest against the rape of a 15-year-old girl allegedly committed by a police officer.

At least 92 people were killed during this day called

"Bloody Friday"

by human rights defenders, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo (Norway).

Can the protest last?

In any case, it's a good start.

We have a government that has not been negotiating since 2019 and demonstrators who do not wish to negotiate


deciphers sociologist Mahnaz Shirali who recalls that the protesters wanted “

to bring down the regime from the start of the protests


There is probably no going back.

The regime is doomed in the long term


supports researcher David Rigoulet-Roze.

Read alsoDeath of Mahsa Amini: it is "all of Iran which is now demonstrating"

For the moment, if the Iranian regime has undoubtedly been shaken, "

the breaking or tipping point has not been crossed




It could be if there was an aggregation of anger with mass demonstrations as was

the case in 1978 against the Shah


" he adds.

Which is not yet the case.


The two parties

- the protesters and the power -

are therefore part of a war of attrition

", he summarizes.

It is a revolutionary dynamic which is not yet a Revolution strictly speaking but which could become one


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-26

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