Iran: Can the protest regain momentum?

Iran: Can the protest regain momentum?
Iran: Can the protest regain momentum?

the essential
Demonstrations of joy accompanied the announcement of the death of President Ebrahim Raïssi in Iran. Can the harshly repressed protest against the regime gain strength?

By asking yesterday that “the rebellious youth [passe] to action” against the mullahs’ regime, Maryam Rajavi, president in exile of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), undoubtedly hoped to breathe new life into a protest movement born at the time of the death of Mahsa Amini, the September 16, 2022.

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The death in police custody of this young woman arrested in Tehran for opposing the compulsory wearing of the hijab was the trigger for a vast protest movement “Woman, life, freedom”, which spread throughout the country. country with young women who revealed themselves, sometimes dancing, supported by many young or old men.

A movement which was severely repressed by the regime with thousands of arbitrary arrests, convictions and summary executions. Acts of torture, rapes, but also the return of the moral police and the use of surveillance technologies to track down women who do not wear the veil have been documented by Amnesty International.

Mobilization in favor of rapper Toomaj, sentenced to death

Despite this lead, the protest continues. Strongly internationally with, for example, a vast campaign in favor of the rapper Toomaj, sentenced to the death penalty for “corruption on Earth” for his support for the Woman, Life, Freedom movement. But the protest also continues in Iran, sometimes quietly, in a more exposed way with videos posted on social networks.

Even before the official announcement of the death of President Ebrahim Raïssi – nicknamed “the butcher of Tehran” for his role in thousands of executions in the 1980s – Iranians celebrated the news, honking their horns, singing and even shooting fires. ‘artifice.

ویدیوهای رسیده به ایران‌اینترنشنال نشان می‌دهد گروهی از مردم در س قز برای سقوط بالگرد رئیسی مشغول جشن و آتش‌بازی هستند pic.twitter.com/C0PtxbLh6P

— ايران اينترنشنال (@IranIntl) https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1792284653966995912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

While state media showed images of crying crowds, others rejoiced at the death of a tyrant. “We dance and celebrate freely on your dirty grave” write on X (ex-Twitter) Sima Moradbeigi and Mersedeh Shahinkar, mutilated by the police, in the caption of a video where we see them dancing. Similar scenes of joy in Qazvin and Saqqez, the hometown of Masha Amini, where fireworks were set off on Sunday evening.

“The flame of Mahsa Amini burns brighter than ever”

“The flame of Mahsa Amini burns brighter than ever tonight! Thus, the possible death of Raisi is celebrated in Saghez, the birthplace of Mahsa Amini in Iran. We must be careful not to prohibit people from feeling what they should feel,” Düzen Tekkal, a German-Yazidi journalist, wrote on X.

Some Iranians thus welcome “the death of several criminals”, evoke the “karma linked to the massacre of political prisoners in the 80s” or believe that they paid the price for being at the origin of “the curse of thousands of families in mourning. » Fireworks also lit up several neighborhoods in Tehran. Videos were posted on social networks. “I hope the others die the same way,” said a voice.

From abroad too, opponents of the regime did not hide their joy like Hamid Farrokhnejad, star of Iranian cinema who shared on his Instagram account a caricature of Raïssi drawn by Mana Neyestani and captioned “Yes, death also comes to YOU. »

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