A video recorded on the 26th of October 2022 shows Iranian government forces shooting unarmed civilians on the streets of Saqez.
Thousands of mourners gathered outside the grave of Jina Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked nationwide protests, as Wednesday marked the end of the traditional mourning period in Islam.
Demonstrators made their way to the grave in the city of Saqez in Kurdistan province on foot, after Iranian government forces blocked the routes leading to the city. Others used their vehicles to navigate alternative routes.
Government forces later opened fire on the protesters, according to a rights monitor and a witness on the ground.
“Security forces have shot tear gas and opened fire on people in Zindan square, Saqez city,” Hengaw, a Norway-based group tweeted without specifying whether there were any dead or wounded.
The semi-official ISNA news agency characterized the crackdown as clashes between Iranian government forces and protesters, adding that the internet had been cut for security reasons.
Dozens of mourners chanted “woman, life, freedom” and “death to the dictator” in the Aichi cemetery, the French news agency AFP reported, citing videos shared online.
Meanwhile, businesses in Saqez, and other Kurdish cities like Sanandaj, Divandarreh, Marivan and Kamyaran went on strike on Wednesday, the local Hengaw human rights organization said. There also unconfirmed reports of a strike at a Tehran refinery.
On Tuesday, students protested at multiple universities across Iran, defying a crackdown as tensions mounted on the eve of the planned events to mark 40 days since Amini’s death.
Authorities closed schools and universities in Kurdistan province on Wednesday, citing a “wave of influenza,” state media reported.
Activists said on social media that protests around Tehran’s medical school on Wednesday turned violent, when security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters.
At least 141 demonstrators have been killed in the protests gripping Iran since Amini’s death on September 16, as per local rights groups. Some groups are citing a death toll as high as 250.