Rights groups: Iran stops family marking Mahsa Amini's death anniversary

Protesters stage a demonstration near the Iranian embassy on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, in Rome, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Photo/AP)

Iranian authorities have prevented the family of Mahsa Amini from holding a ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of her death, confining her father under "house arrest" as sporadic protests erupted nationwide despite heavy security, rights groups said.

22-year-old Amini died a few days after her arrest by police for allegedly violating the dress code for women in force shortly after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Her family says she died from a blow to the head but this is disputed by Iranian authorities.

Mahsa Amini's father Amjad was detained on early Saturday as he left the family home in the western town of Saqez and then released after being warned not to hold a memorial service at her graveside, according to several human rights groups, including Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR).

Official news agency IRNA denied the reports of the father's brief detention, and later said security forces had foiled an assassination attempt against him.

Amjad Amini was already summoned by intelligence officials last week after his announcement he planned to hold a memorial ceremony. One of Amini's uncles, Safa Aeli, was detained in Saqez on September 5 and remains in custody.

'Cemetery access blocked'

Rights groups said security forces had blocked access to the cemetery in Saqez where Amini is buried.

Campaigners say the authorities have renewed their crackdown in the runup to the anniversary, putting pressure on relatives of those killed in the protests in a bid to stop them speaking out.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said family members of at least 36 people killed or executed in the crackdown had been interrogated, arrested, prosecuted or sentenced to prison over the past month.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said a fire broke out at Qarchak prison for women outside Tehran when security forces quelled a protest by inmates.

Commemorative rallies around the globe

Witnesses in Tehran said there was a heavy security presence, with anti-riot police and security vehicles on the main streets and squares.

Similar gatherings were reported in the central city of Isfahan and the southern city of Shiraz.

Under the slogan "Say her name!" Iranian emigres were holding commemorative rallies from Sydney to Toronto, with thousands in Place de la Bastille in central Paris chanting protest slogans.


Source: TRT