Iran Marks First Anniversary Of 2022 Nationwide Uprising – OpEd


September 16 marked the first anniversary of Iran’s 2022 nationwide uprising, which began after the regime’s security forces murdered Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman. People are holding protest rallies and strikes despite severe security measures by the regime.

In Mashhad, a group of people held a peaceful protest rally in Ahmad Abad but were attacked by the regime’s security forces. A motorcade of repressive forces attacked the protesters and shots were heard.

In Tehran, passengers on a BTR bus started chanting anti-regime slogans. The protesters were shouting, “Mullahs must get lost!” This is happening despite heavy presence of security forces across the capital.

The PMOI’s network in Kermanshah reported that despite heavy presence of security forces, several brave women started chanting anti-regime slogans in Nobahar Boulevard, including “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” Security forces opened fire on the protesters and clashes ensued, but the protesters stood their ground and continued their rally.

Nightly protests continued in several cities. In Lahijan, security forces attacked a group of protesters who had gathered to mark the anniversary of the 2022 uprising.

In Tehran’s Chitgar district, people were heard chanting, “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” Similar protests were held in other districts, including Janat Abad, Ekbatan, and Ferdows Boulevard.

In Rasht, the people held a large rally and chanted slogans against the regime, including “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” and “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”

Security forces were dispatched to quell the protests and disperse the protesters. But the protesters held their ground and continued to chant anti-regime slogans as they resisted the regime’s repressive forces.

On Saturday, shop owners in more than a dozen cities held a general strike to mark the anniversary of the nationwide uprising. Strikes were reported Saqqez, the hometown of Mahsa, as well as Sanandaj, Divandarreh, Dehgolan, Kermanshah, Mahabad, Bukan, Kamyaran, Marivan, Oshnavieh, Baneh, and Divandarreh.

Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran by the morality police on charges of not abiding by the regime’s dress code. She was beaten by the morality police and died of her wounds in a Tehran hospital on September 16, 2022. Her death triggered the pent-up anger of the Iranian people from more than four decades of tyranny and corruption. Protests spread to hundreds of cities and continued for several months despite the regime’s brutal response. Security forces murdered more than 750 people in the streets and arrested more than 30,000 protesters.

Four protesters were executed by the regime and several others died under torture or under suspicious circumstance in the regime’s custody. Several others committed suicide after their release from the extent of torture and drugs injected by the regime’s security forces in prison.

Ahead of the anniversary of the uprising, the regime engaged in widespread arrest of political activists and family members of the martyrs of the uprising. According to reports, the regime arrested Amjad Amini, the father of Mahsa, and warned him and his family to refrain from holding any ceremony for their daughter. The regime has also deployed security forces around the Amini home in fear of demonstrations.

Security forces also blocked roads and pathways leading to the Aichi cemetery in Saqqez, where Mahsa has been buried, to prevent people from congregating and honoring her memory.

At the same time, the regime took severe security measures in different cities, including the dispatching of the large contingents of security forces to different cities. There is especially heavy security presence in Kurdish cities and Sistan and Baluchestan province, one of the hotbeds of the 2022 uprising.

On September 30, 2022, the regime’s security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan province, and killed more than 100 civilians, including at least a dozen children. The even became known as “Zahedan’s bloody Friday” and became a rallying point for the people of the region.

Ahead of the anniversary of Zahedan’s bloody Friday, the regime has resorted to a wide range of security and political measures to prevent protests. But the people of Zahedan defied the regime on Friday, September 15, and held anti-regime rallies.

Protesters called for the release of political prisoners and chanted, “I will kill those who killed my brother.”

Protesters chanted “From Zahedan to Tehran, my life for Iran!” echoing the national unity against the regime. They also chanted slogans against regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and made it clear that they will settle for nothing short of regime change.

The protesters chanted, “This regime is invalid, the IRGC are criminals” making it clear that contrary to what some so-called opposition figures are trying to say, there is no way for the Revolutionary Guards to become part of the solution.

At the same time, citizens in different cities held nightly protests on September 15 to mark the first anniversary of the 2022 uprising. In Mashhad, protesters were chanting, “Death to the dictator!”

In Tehran, nightly protests were reported in several cities, where protesters chanted slogans against the regime and supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Mahmoud Hakamian

Mahmoud Hakamian writes for The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK)

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