Iranians Mark End Of Mourning Period For Killed Protesters With Fresh Demonstrations

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Iranian protesters staged fresh demonstrations in several cities to mark the end of the 40-day mourning period for 10 protesters killed by security forces in unrest triggered by the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.

With police standing nearby in the central Iranian city of Semirom, people gathered to mark the end of the traditional mourning period following the death of Ali Abbasi, a 24-year-old killed by direct fire from security forces during a demonstration on November 16.

Videos published on social media showed attendees chanting anti-government slogans such as, "Death to Khamenei," a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"The trumpet of war has been blown and the brave have been distinguished from the cowards," Ali Abbasi's sister said during a commemoration ceremony.

Also, in Behesht-e Zahra, the largest cemetery in Iran, located in the southern part of metropolitan Tehran, a large crowd of protesters reached Hamidreza Rouhi's grave despite the deployment of security forces to keep crowds away.

Rouhi, a university student who had a modeling career since childhood, was shot dead during a demonstration in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on November 18.

Videos on social media showed a confrontation between the protesters and the security forces who went there to disrupt the ceremony.

Similar scenes were repeated in the cities of Bukan, Marvdasht, Ahvaz, and Izeh.

Iran has been engulfed by anti-government demonstrations since Amini's death on September 16.

She died while being detained by police after she was arrested for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly.

Police have responded to the unrest with a brutal crackdown that has angered the protesters further while raising concern around the world over the poor state of human rights in Iran.

Almost 500 people, including 62 children, have died in the police crackdown on protesters, while thousands have been detained.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda