Iranian mourners shot by riot police at Amini’s grave

Iran: Mourners defy police and gather at Mahsa Amini's grave

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Thousands of mourners and protesters gathered in Saqqez, Amini’s home city, with many walking to the cemetery where Mahsa is buried. The 40th day after someone has died is a significant market for those who observe Islam and is where there is usually a memorial service and a family gathering in memory of the departed.

Iranian police opened fire with live rounds on people who were stood at her graveside with tear gas also used on the crowds.

A witness told Reuters: “The riot police shot mourners who gathered at the cemetery for Mahsa’s memorial ceremony.”

It remains unclear if there have been any casualties, but Rights groups have said that at least 250 protesters have been killed in the protests so far and thousands have been arrested.

Iranian judicial officials stated this week that over 600 people will be prosecuted for being involved in the protests.

Some are facing charges of “war against God” which is a capital offence in Iran.

When the violence broke out, the internet was shut down to the city and Iranian officials refused to immediately comment on the situation.

As part of the protest on Wednesday, women gathered in the cemetery and uncovered their hair in protest of the hijab laws following Amini’s death for “inappropriate attire”.

In videos shared online, a long line of mourners which stretched for miles, walked towards the Aichi cemetery despite security forces blocking the roads to Saqez.

The protesters chanted “death to the dictator”, in a bold reference to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei which shows the power and strength of these Iranian protests.

According to a news agency in Iran, up to 10,000 people had gathered at the cemetery and that the internet was cut “for security reasons”.

A witness said that mourners were also chanting “woman, life freedom” which has become a key slogan for the movement.

Others were shouting “down with traitors” and “Kurdistan will be the graveyard of fascists”.

The Hengaw Human Rights Organisation reported: “Heavy clashes have taken place between people and government forces near Zindan Square in Saqez.”

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It remains unclear if members of Amini’s family were at the march but a source close to them said that they had been contacted by intelligence agents.

Speaking to Jiya Gol from the BBC, the source said that Ms Amini’s father had been pressured by the agents to say they would not hold a ceremony after fears it would spark further protest.

Despite this, the protests have taken off across Iran and show one of the most serious and defiant challenges to the Islamic Republic since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

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