In anticipation of protests, Iranian authorities increased their presence across the country on Friday ahead of the anniversary of Mahsa’s death. Amini’s death anniversary is Saturday, the one-year anniversary of her death. Amini was a 22-year old woman who died while in custody when Iranian morality police detained her for wearing an “improper” hijab. Her death triggered nationwide demonstrations against the morality dress codes and the subsequent crackdown by authorities.
Rights groups and individuals took to social media Friday to urge the world to bring attention to Saturday’s planned protests. People on the ground in Iran posted videos online of what appeared to be a military vehicle approaching a village ahead of the protests. Analysts claimed the tank was used to suppress protests at Amini’s home town of Saqez in Iran’s Kurdistan Region. In other videos, protestors were seen in Zahedan holding banners that read, “Attacking Kurdistan, attack on Baluchistan”. For many communities, Amini’s murder is more than a violation of women’s rights. It’s also an example of the regime’s discrimination toward ethnic minorities.
The Hengaw Organization of Human Rights reported that multiple platoons with heavy military equipment have descended upon Saqez. Hengaw reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard set up checkpoints in and around Saqez earlier this week. According to reports, military tanks are also stationed at Aychi Cemetery where Amini’s buried. Human Rights Watch reported in August that authorities arrested at least 12 activists ahead of the anniversary. A joint report by Iran Human Rights and Together Against the Death Penalty found that Iranian authorities had executed 582 people between 2022 and 2023, while tens thousands more were arrested. Families of protesters killed in the street were intimidated by the government and treated badly if they tried to file a lawsuit against it.