Iran: Protests about to escalate

EThere are signs of an escalation in the protests that are taking place in Iran on the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. According to official figures, after the number of people killed in the past few days has risen to eleven, the first demonstrators are now threatening to take up arms. According to the Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw, which even reports twelve fatalities in the Kurdish provinces alone, more than 500 people have been arrested so far.

The fact that the Iranian state on Thursday continued to slow down the Internet, which had been throttled since the protests began, is seen as an indication of an imminent escalation. This is intended to make it more difficult for the demonstrators to coordinate with one another, as well as for the flow of information abroad. The two most used apps, Instagram and Whatsapp, are most affected.

A few messages have already confirmed the escalation. In Mashhad and in a city on the Caspian Sea, demonstrators seized two police stations and set them on fire. In Rascht, a mosque went up in flames. In many cities, the security forces are said to have fired on the demonstrators on Thursday, which had not been the case in the past few days.

Pressure on Mahsa Amini's family increases

The demonstrators are increasingly tearing down propaganda posters of the Islamic Republic from the walls of houses. Posters with the portrait of the general killed in early 2020 Qasem Soleimani were burned in his hometown. From Tehran it became known that posters with the image of Imam Hossein, to which the Shiite Muslims refer, were set on fire.

Apparently, the pressure on Mahsa Amini's family, whose Kurdish name was Dschina, is increasing. The father is said to explain that his daughter underwent brain surgery eight years ago. That would give more credence to the authorities' version that she was not ill-treated during her arrest. However, her father had said immediately after his daughter's death that she had been perfectly healthy. President Ebrahim Raisi launched an investigation into Amini's death on Monday before he left for New York.

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