Protests Erupt After Death in Detention

In mid-September 2022, protests broke out across Iran after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman picked up for improper hijab, or head covering. She collapsed in a “reeducation” center. During the first two weeks, spontaneous demonstrations erupted in more than 90 cities in nearly all of Iran's 31 provinces. By mid-October, at least 201 people were reportedly killed, including 23 children, during violent crackdowns by Iranian security forces, who used tear gas and live ammunition. Thousands of people were reportedly detained or injured.  


Police and Government Response

Police initially claimed that Amini had suffered a heart attack and that there was “no physical encounter” between her and officers. But Amini’s father and uncle told local media that she had been healthy. “The cause of the accident is clear as day,” Amini’s uncle said. “What happens when they grab girls and stick them in the car with such ferocity and terror? Do they have the right? They know nothing about Islam, nor humanity.”

In a second statement, the police denied that Amini had been beaten and said that she fainted after entering the police station. State media broadcast what appeared to be edited video footage of Amini entering the police station and later collapsing in a room where at least a dozen other women were being held. The last part of the video showed her being wheeled out to an ambulance.

President Ebrahim Raisi directed the Ministry of Interior and Tehran’s prosecutor to launch investigations. On September 18, he offered condolences to Amini’s family during a phone call. “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones,” he said. An aide from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office visited the family. The head of Tehran’s morality police, Colonel Ahmad Mirzaei, was suspended pending further investigation, according to multiple media outlets. The police later denied that report.

Protests and Public Reaction

The outcry over Amini’s death—at demonstrations, in the press, and on social media—reflected growing opposition to the morality police as well as to the dress code. 

Protests began within hours of Amini’s death on September 16. Demonstrators gathered outside of Kasra Hospital, where she had died. In one video, security forces appeared to attack protesters. At least two activists were reportedly detained. NetBlocks, a cyber monitoring firm, reported a disruption in internet service in Tehran as the news went viral. Authorities have previously slowed internet speeds to hinder the spread of information.    

Amini was buried in her hometown of Saqez, in the northwestern province of Kurdistan on September 17. Funeral attendees, some of whom traveled from neighboring cities, shouted “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been in power since 1989. Some women removed their headscarves in defiance of the compulsory dress code. Demonstrators marched to the office of Saqez’s governor. Police reportedly fired teargas and pellet guns to disperse the crowd. 

Demonstrations then spread to Sanandaj, Kurdistan’s provincial capital. “Saqez is not alone; Sanandaj supports Saqez,” people chanted. Videos posted on social media showed clashes between riot police and youth, who burned tires and threw rocks. Police used tear gas, and gunfire could be heard. Demonstrators in Sanandaj clashed with police again on September 18. Some people chanted “Death to Khamenei” in a video. Internet service for mobile phones was reportedly cut.

On September 18, hundreds of people gathered at Tehran University.  “Woman, Life, Freedom!” students chanted as they marched through campus. On September 19, students at three campuses in the capital – Kabir University, Shahid Beheshti University and Tehran University – held rallies.

Amini’s death was widely condemned by Iranians on social media. By September 19, the Persian hashtag #MahsaAmini had been mentioned nearly two million times on Twitter, becoming one of the most used Persian hashtags ever. To protest the dress code, women uploaded videos of themselves cutting off their hair. Men shaved their beards in solidarity. Several celebrities, including soccer players and actors, mourned Amini’s death. In an Instagram post, Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi wrote that he was disgusted with himself. “We have put ourselves to sleep against this endless cruelty. We are partners in this crime.”

Religious leaders and former politicians spoke out as well. Grand Ayatollah Assadollah Bayat Zanjani, a pro-reform cleric, said that the incident was “illegitimate” and “illegal.” Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said that the police must be held accountable. Former President Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), a reformist, called that the conduct of the morality police a “disaster.” And former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2013-2021) wrote that he was “ashamed and sorry.” 

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iran’s most prominent human rights lawyer, said that Amini’s death should be “investigated as a deliberate murder” under Article 290 of the Islamic penal code. 


Media Reaction

On September 18, most reformist and centrist newspapers ran large photos of Amini or her grave on front pages. Mardom Salari, a reformist newspaper, urged the government to “Dismantle the Morality Police.” In a banner headline, Afatb-e Yazd, a reformist daily, exclaimed “Iran in Shock.” Centrist Ebtekar headlined “Tragic Death of Mahsa Amini.”

Most reformist newspapers devoted their front pages to coverage of Amini's death


In stark contrast, most conservative newspapers downplayed the story and led with a speech by Supreme Leader Khamenei about a religious holiday. Some defended the morality police and charged that the accounts of abuse were spurious. Hardline Kayhan reported, “Footage showing moments when Mahsa Amini loses consciousness exposes liars.” Vatan-e Emrooz, another hardline daily, noted the “tragedy” in small print with no photo on its front page.


Dress Code Enforcement and Opposition

After the 1979 revolution, the new theocracy required females to cover their hair with a hijab and dress modestly from the age of puberty. Violators could face prison sentences, fines or lashes. But enforcement has varied widely since then.

In practice, many women, especially in cities, started wearing scarves that barely covered their hair. The all-enveloping black chador was not as common as it was in the early days of the revolution. Iranians increasingly became critical of the dress code. In 2006, 55 percent of respondents told pollsters that the state should “confront” women who disobey the hijab ruleBy 2014, only 40 percent said that the state should confront violators, according to a study by the Iranian Students Polling Agency. So many women started wearing tight leggings that lawmakers summoned the interior minister in June 2014 to question the lax enforcement of the dress code. 

Activists faced harassment and legal consequences for challenging the law. In 2014, exiled journalist and activist Masih Alinejad started the My Stealthy Freedom campaign. Hundreds of women flaunted the dress code, posting pictures of themselves on social media without a veil. In 2017, Alinejad launched the #WhiteWednesdays social media campaign. Women removed their headscarves in public and waved them on a stick, sometimes on street corners or in public squares, by themselves or in groups. Many were arrested and charged with crimes, such as collusion against national security, propaganda against the state, and encouraging moral corruption and prostitution.

President Raisi, a hardliner elected in 2021, has pushed for stringent enforcement of the Islamic dress code imposed after the 1979 revolution. On July 5, 2022, he urged authorities to enforce a longstanding resolution on “chastity and hijab.” Opposition to the dress code was “an organized promotion of corruption in Islamic society,” Raisi said.

President Ebrahim Raisi

The government declared July 12, 2022 to be a new national “Hijab and Chastity Day.” In response, Iranian activists called for a “No to Hijab Day.” Many women posted videos or photos of themselves without head coverings or burning scarves as part of the “No2Hijabcampaign. Several were reportedly detained for protesting or their social-media posts.  

On Aug. 15, 2022, Raisi signed decreed new restrictions on women’s dress, including on heavy makeup. Authorities plan to use technology on public transportation to identify women on public transportation.

For years, Raisi has also advocated strict segregation of the sexes. “Preventing the mixing of men and women in the office environment is in order for men and women to be able to provide better services to the people, and this is a good move to create a suitable working environment and effort for women,” he said in 2014.


Kurdistan Hotbed

Kurdistan is one of the more restive of Iran’s 31 provinces. Ethnic Kurds, a majority in the province but a minority in Iran, have long alleged neglect and discrimination by the Persian-dominated central government.

Iran and its neighbors have long perceived the Kurds as a threat due to their numbers, geographic distribution and resistance to central authority. At least 25 million Kurds are spread across Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They are the largest minority in the world without a state.

In Iran, Kurdish separatist groups have sought independence since the early 1900s, both during the monarchy and since the 1979 revolution. Stability in Kurdistan is vital to security on the border with Iraq and maintaining territorial integrity. 


International Reaction

Human rights groups decried Amini’s treatment as emblematic of Iran’s repressive policies. “Mahsa Amini is one among countless victims of the Islamic Republic’s war on women,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. “The government is responsible for her death and decades of women being harassed, detained and otherwise harmed under the guise of this discriminatory, inhuman law.”

The United Nations called for a prompt and impartial investigation into allegations of torture. “The authorities must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules,” Acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif said.

Amnesty International called for a criminal investigation. In a statement, it said that the morality police “arbitrarily arrested” Amini three days before her death “while enforcing the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws. “All agents and officials responsible must face justice.”

U.S. officials also criticized Iran. In a tweet, Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, called Amini’s death “appalling.” Iran “must end its violence against women for exercising their fundamental rights.” Those responsible “should be held accountable.” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Amini’s death was “unforgivable.” The United States “will continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for such human right abuses,” he tweeted. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Iran to allow peaceful protests.


Timeline of Protests

Sept. 16, 2022: Mahsa Amini died at Kasra Hospital in Tehran while in the custody of the morality police. She had been detained on September 13 for an improper hijab. In one video, security forces appeared to attack protesters gathered outside of the hospital. At least two activists were reportedly detained. NetBlocks, a cyber monitoring firm, reported a disruption in internet service in Tehran as the news went viral. 

Sept. 17, 2022: Amini was buried in her hometown of Saqez, in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. Some 1,000 people reportedly attended the funeral. Some attendees chanted “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some women removed their headscarves in defiance of the compulsory dress code. 

Many demonstrators marched to the office of Saqez’s governor. Police reportedly fired teargas and pellet guns to disperse the crowd. At least 30 people were reportedly injured

Demonstrations then spread to Sanandaj, Kurdistan’s provincial capital. “Saqez is not alone; Sanandaj supports Saqez,” people chanted. Videos posted on social media showed clashes between riot police and youth, who burned tires and threw rocks. Police used tear gas, and gunfire could be heard. 

Sept. 18, 2022: Protests continued for a third day. Hundreds of people gathered at Tehran University.  “Woman, Life, Freedom!” students chanted as they marched through campus holding posters with the same slogan.

Demonstrators in Sanandaj clashed with police. Some people chanted “Death to Khamenei” in a video. Internet service for mobile phones was reportedly cut.

Sept. 19, 2022: Protests continued for a fourth day. Students at three campuses in Tehran – Kabir University, Shahid Beheshti University and Tehran University – held rallies. Protesters also took to the streets chanting “Death to the dictator.” Some set fire to trash bins. 

In Tehran, demonstrators damaged a police vehicle on Keshvaraz Boulevard. And riot police used a water cannon to try to disperse protestors in Valiasr Square. 

Iranian security forces reportedly killed five protesters in the Kurdish towns of Saqez, Divandarreh, and Dehgolan, according to Hengaw Human Rights Organization. The Kurdish group said that 75 other protesters were injured. 

“We do not want an Islamic Republic,” demonstrators chanted in the northern city of Rasht in Gilan province. In the central city of Isfahan, the capital of Isfahan province, female protestors removed their headscarves and waved them above their heads. 

Netblocks reported that internet connectivity in Sanandaj was almost completely cut off following disruptions in Tehran and other cities. 

Tehran Police commander Hossein Rahimi claimed that officers had “done everything” to keep Amini alive and that “cowardly accusations” about her treatment were false. 

In a tweet, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the Iranian government “to end its systemic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest.”

Sept. 20, 2022: Protests continued for a fifth day. In Tehran, hundreds of protestors took to the streets at night and chanted slogans against Supreme Leader Khamenei. Security forces reportedly used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.  

Protestors reportedly burned police vehicles in Sabzevar, in the eastern province of Razavi Khorasan province, and Qazvin, the capital of northwestern Qazvin province.

In the northern city of Sari in Mazandaran province, demonstrators removed pictures of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader, from a municipal building. “Death to the dictator,” the crowd chanted.


Protesters chanted “Down with the dictator” during the second day of protests in Mashhad, a conservative bastion and the capital of northeastern Razavi Khorasan province. Security forces reportedly fired on the crowds in Iran’s second largest city.

Students at the University of Tabriz chanted anti-regime slogans: “From Kurdistan to Tabriz, our patience is exhausted” and “Freedom is our right, Mahsa is our symbol.”

At least six men, one woman and one child had been killed in protests on September 19-20, Amnesty International later reported. The deaths occurred in Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and West Azerbaijan provinces. “Hundreds more, including children, have sustained painful injuries amounting to torture or other ill-treatment due to the unlawful use of birdshot and other munitions against them,” the human rights organization said. 

Tehran’s governor, Mohsen Mansouri, claimed that the demonstrations were “not the work of ordinary people,” alleging that people were trained to create disturbances. 

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian criticized the U.S. condemnation of Iranian authorities for the death of Amini. “To Iran, human rights are of inherent value- unlike those who see it a tool against adversaries,” he tweeted. “Instead of shedding crocodile tears, US must end #EconomicTerrorism.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s representative in Kurdistan province offered condolences to the family of Mahsa Amini. “All institutions will take action to defend the rights that were violated,” vowed Abdolreza Pourzahabi.

A senior U.N. official called for a prompt and impartial investigation into allegations of torture. Iranian authorities “must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules,” Acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif said.

Sept. 21, 2022: Protests continued for a sixth day. In the northern city of Amol in Mazandaran province, protestors reportedly started a fire at the governor’s office. One young man was reportedly killed in clashes with security forces. In a video from the same city, demonstrators forced police to retreat back down a street. In the northern city of Nowshahr in the same province, protestors flipped a police truck. 

In Tehran, police fired paintballs, which are used to tag protestors, near Valiasr, a busy square in downtown Tehran. In one video, an officer appeared to fire live rounds at demonstrators.   

In a video from Kerman, young men tore down and then set fire to a banner with an image of the late General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2020. Soleimani was mourned as a martyr and national hero and has become an important symbol for the Islamic Republic. 

At least 19 people, including at least three children, were killed at night, according to Amnesty International. 

In an interview with BBC Persian, Amjad Amini said that authorities were lying about his daughter’s death. 

Telecommunications Minister Isa Zarepour warned that restrictions could be imposed “due to security issues,” but he did not elaborate. Later in the day, authorities cut off internet access to most ordinary Iranians nationwide.  

Several Iranian government websites — including the websites of the presidency and the Supreme Leader—and state media websites were temporarily shut down by hackers. The “Anonymous” hacking group said that it was carrying out cyber operations to show solidarity with Iranian protestors.

In his address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Joe Biden said that the United States was standing with “the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.”

Sept. 22, 2022: Protests continued for a seventh day. In Tehran and surrounding suburbs, protestors reportedly set fire to security vehicles and chanted anti-regime slogans.

In Amol, Mazandaran province, two people reportedly died as security forces fired on crowds. Protesters also tore down a billboard poster of Supreme Leader Khamenei.

In Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf, protesters threw objects at a mural of Supreme Leader Khamenei and General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Qods Force who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2020, on a judiciary building.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) called on the judiciary to “identify those who spread false news and rumors on social media as well as on the street and who endanger the psychological safety of society and to deal with them decisively.” In a statement, the IRGC accused the demonstrators of “sedition” and alleged that the United States and Israel were behind a “hybrid war” against the Islamic Republic.  

The United States sanctioned Iran’s Morality Police and seven senior security officials for violence against protestors and the death of Amini. The Iranian government “needs to end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “The United States will continue to voice our support for human rights in Iran and hold those who violate them to account.”

Iran restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp in what appeared to be an effort to limit the flow of information and curtail communication among protestors. 

Sept. 23, 2022: Protests continued for an eighth day. In one video, protestors set fire to a statue of Supreme Leader Khamenei in Mashhad, his birthplace. The demonstrations  had spread to at least 80 cities, the BBC reported

Videos from the city of Oshnavieh in West Azerbaijan province suggested that security forces had withdrawn from parts of the city, which is home to a large Kurdish population. But security forces later raided homes and detained 60 people, according to Hengaw Human Rights Organization. 

In Tehran, protesters reportedly threw improvised stun grenades and blocked roads to stymie security forces. Security personnel on motorcycles, wielding guns and chains, clashed with protesters. 

In Rudsar, in northern Gilan province, protesters chanted “Death to the institution of the Supreme Leader.”  Protestors in the holy city of Qom, the capital of northern Qom province, chanted “Revolt, strong revolt. We will not let them even breathe in this country any longer.”

Pro-government rallies were held in several provinces. Demonstrators called those who protested following Mahsa Amini’s death “Israel’s soldiers” and demanded their execution. 

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television that internet restrictions, meant to prevent demonstrators from organizing, would continue “until the riots end.” He also claimed that medical evidence did not indicate that Amini had been beaten by police.  

The army, in what appeared to be a warning to demonstrations, pledged to “confront the enemies’ various plots.” It described the protests as “desperate actions” by Iran’s enemies, part of “an evil strategy” to weaken the Islamic Republic. 

Police chief Hossein Ashtari warned that people involved in “sabotage and creating insecurity based on directives from outside the country” will be “strongly dealt with.”

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi pledged to never allow “seditionists” to realize their “dream of defeating religious values and the great achievements of the revolution.”

State television reported that 35 people had died amid the protests. 

The United States authorized American companies to offer more types of internet services to Iranians. “Today we are issuing a General License to advance our efforts and commitments to ensure that the Iranian people can freely access information online,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “These steps will help counter the Iranian government’s efforts to surveil and censor its citizens.” The new license allows tech firms to offer social media platforms, video conferencing software, and a variety of cloud-based communications tools to ordinary Iranians.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the extension of Starlink satellite internet service to Iran in a move to help ordinary Iranians access information. He later clarified that certain terminals would need to be transferred to Iran for people to use the service. 

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Iranian authorities to not use “unnecessary or disproportionate force” against peaceful protestors. He urged Iran to “respect the right to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. In a meeting with President Raisi one day earlier, Guterres called for an impartial investigation into Amini’s death. 

Sept. 24, 2022: Protests continued for a ninth day and reportedly spread to some 80 cities. “Don’t be afraid, we all in this together,” people in a square in Tehran’s western Sattarkhan district chanted. Videos on social media showed demonstrations in Sanandaj as well as the northern city of Babol, Mazandaran province.

In Mashhad, protesters chanted against Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, the city’s Friday Prayer Leader and father-in-law of President Raisi. “Alamolhoda, we will not let you live.”  

In Tehran, security forces reportedly fired on crowds of protestors and at windows. Demonstrators gathered outside of Evin prison and demanded the release of detainees.

A major reformist party, the Union of Islamic Iran People’s Party, called for the repeal of the law on mandatory hijab and an impartial investigation into Amini’s death. Authorities should also end the “activities of the morality police” and “authorize peaceful demonstrations,” the party said. 

In a video message, Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi called on artists and civil rights activists worldwide to “stand in solidarity with the powerful and brave women and men of Iran.”  

Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country's security and tranquility,” President Raisi said in a phone call with the family of a Basij member who was killed while trying to suppress demonstrations in the northeastern city of Mashhad. 

Interior Minister Vahidi urged the judiciary to pursue “quick, decisive,” legal action against the leaders of the protests to “teach others a lesson.”

State television reported that at least 41 people had been killed since the start of the protests. At least 1,200 people had been detained or arrested amid the crackdown, Tasnim News Agency, reported

At least 17 journalists had been arrested since Amini’s death, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported. “Iranian security forces must drop their repressive measures against the journalists telling this critical story and restore the internet access that is vital to keep the public informed,” Sherif Mansour, the organization’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said in a statement

NetBlocks reported that Skype, a video calling application developed by Microsoft, had been blocked. NetBlocks also observed a “nation-scale disruption to Mobinet,” one of Iran’s largest mobile network providers. 

The IRGC fired artillery on the “headquarters of anti-Iranian terrorists” in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The operations “will continue in order to ensure viable border security, punish criminal terrorists and hold officials (of the Kurdish Regional Government) accountable towards international regulations and their legal duties,” the IRGC said in a statement.  Iran had blamed Iranian Kurdish militants for fomenting unrest.

Sept. 25, 2022: Protests continued for a 10th day. In Tehran, protests were held in several districts. People chanted slogans including, “Woman, life, liberty” and “Don’t be scared, don’t be scared, we are all together here.” 

In Urmia, West Azerbaijan province, a fifth Basij paramilitary member died during clashes with demonstrators, according to CNN. Basij members had reportedly been killed in Qazvin, Tabriz, Mashhad, and Qouchan.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-government demonstrators held rallies in Esfahan, Mashhad and Qazvin to show “unity and outrage over the recent acts of sabotage perpetrated by rioters,” state media reported

The “Anonymous” group hacked the website of Parliament and released personal information, including phone numbers, of lawmakers. “Do not leave the streets. Do not stop the revolution,” the group said ina video. 

An teachers’ union called for a national strike on September  26 and 28 for all teachers and students in Iran.

Iran summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors to account for “interference and hostile media coverage” of the protests. 

Judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei called for “decisive action without leniency” against those behind the “riots.”

Sept. 26, 2022: Protests continued for an 11th day. At least 450 people had been arrested in connection with demonstrations in Mazandaran province, according to the province’s chief prosecutor. 

The IRGC, using artillery and drones, launched a second attack on Iranian Kurdish separatist groups operating in northern Iraq. 

President Raisi visited a Tehran hospital to see individuals who had been injured in what his office referred to as “riots.” 

Amini’s cousin, Erfan Mortezaei, told CBS News that she had been beaten by officers while in custody. “She was tortured in the van after her arrest, then tortured at the police station for half an hour, then hit on her head and she collapsed.” 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran has to “respond to riots in a powerful, mighty way.” In an interview with Al-Monitor, he accused foreign media of encouraging people to “change the regime” with the backing of the United States, European countries and a “certain country” in the Middle East. 

Sept. 27, 2022: Protests continued for a 12th day. In Yazd, the capital of central Yazd province, protesters blocked streets to stop security forces from advancing. In Tehran, security forces reportedly fired on an elderly man. Protests began in Chabahar, in southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province. Demonstrators reportedly set fire to two banks. 

The spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over Iran’s crackdown on protesters and internet restrictions. “Our Office reiterates our call upon the Iranian authorities to fully respect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association, as a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” Ravina Shamdasani said.

Authorities arrested Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani,  a former Member of Parliament and vice president of Iran's Olympic committee, for allegedly “inciting riots.” Rafsanjani, the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has long been a critic of the government.  

At least 23 journalists had been arrested in Iran as of September 27, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists

Iran Human Rights, based in Norway, reported that at least 76 people have been killed during the protests as of Sept. 27. 

Vans used by the morality police had stopped patrolling Tehran’s streets, the Financial Times reported

Sept. 28, 2022: Protests continued for a 13th day. University students called for nationwide boycotts as classes were canceled at several universities amid the unrest. At Shiraz Medical Sciences University, videos showed students chanting “Women, life, freedom,” and “Men, homeland, progress.” Students also yelled “We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back” as security forces cracked down on the group.

In Bandar Abbas, a port city in southern Hormozgan province, protesters clashed with Basij forces and called for them to join the protests. “You killed the students [and now] you are telling us to be quiet,” students chanted. Truck drivers joined students and teachers in calling for national strikes. 

The IRGC continued its campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan targeting Iranian Kurdish dissidents, using drones and missiles in strikes that reportedly killed 13 and injured 58. “This operation will continue with our full determination until the threat is effectively repelled, terrorist group bases are dismantled, and the authorities of the Kurdish region assume their obligations and responsibilities,” the IRGC warned in a statement. 

Police officers will “oppose with all their might the conspiracies of counter-revolutionaries and hostile elements, and deal firmly with those who disrupt public order and security anywhere in the country,” police command warned in a statement.  

The IRGC escalated its campaign in northern Iraq against Kurdish separatists. It reportedly launched 73 missiles and dozens of armed drones at 42 targets across a 250-mile-wide area. The IRGC targeted three Iranian Kurdish opposition groups – the Komala Party, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), and the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PJAK). Tehran had blamed Kurdish groups for supporting protests inside Iran. The strikes killed at least 13 people and wounded at least 58 others.

Sept. 29, 2022: Protests continued for a 14th day. Iranian security forces detained a young woman, Sheida Saberi, as she cut her hair during a protest in Yasouj, the capital of central Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province. Security forces also arrested soccer player Hossein Mahini, of Persepolis FC, for voicing support for demonstrators on social media. 

In Zahedan, security forces allegedly killed at least 66 people, including children, after Friday prayers, according to Amnesty International. Hundreds of others, including bystanders, were injured. Iranians later referred to the incident as “bloody Friday.” The victims were members of the Baluch, a largely Sunni ethnic minority that has long faced discrimination.

In a video from Sanandaj, gunfire could be heard amid chants of “Women, life, freedom” and “Women of freedom.” In Mashhad, protesters threw stones at security forces and yelled “We will will – we will kill whoever killed my sister.” Gunfire was also heard during protests in Kerman and Abadan, a city in western Khuzestan province. In Tehran, women removed their headscarves, and protesters in Qom lit a fire in the streets.

The family of Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old girl from Khorramabad, was summoned to retrieve her body from a detention center morgue on September 29.Shakarami had disappeared at a protest in Tehran on September 20. She messaged a friend that the police were chasing her down a street. Her body was reportedly covered with “stitches and signs of physical assault.” The government claimed that she fell from a four-story building. Security officials reportedly took her body to bury secretly to avoid an emotional public funeral. Officials reportedly intimidated relatives to change their account of how Shakarami died.

Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old girl from Khorramabad, disappeared at a protest in Tehran on September 20. She messaged a friend that the police were chasing her down a street. Her family was summoned to retrieve her body from a detention center morgue on September 29. Her body was reportedly covered with “stitches and signs of physical assault.” The government claimed that she fell from a four-story building. Security officials reportedly took her body to bury secretly to avoid an emotional public funeral. Officials reportedly intimidated relatives to change their account of how Shakarami died.

Some Basij members and female members of the morality police had reportedly refused to continue serving over security forces’ behavior during the protests, according to IranWire. The “principal concern of all Iranian officials, from IRGC commanders to the Health Minister, is the depletion of police forces and even potential desertion by members of the military in the face of a growing youth-led movement,” a former security official claimed. 

The Iranian University Students Trade Unions Council reported that 204 universities and institutions had joined a national strike called for the release of students who had been detained. 

Iran summoned the French charge d'affaires in Tehran over France’s condemnation of the crackdown on protests. 

Iraq summoned Iran’s ambassador in Baghdad to condemn Iran’s attacks on Iranain Kurdish opposition groups in northern Iraq. Omar Mahmoudzadeh, a U.S. citizen, was killed in an Iranian missile and drone strike on three Kurdish groups on September 28. 

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives introduced identical resolutions reaffirming U.S. “support for the Iranian citizens who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest for their fundamental human rights, and condemning the Iranian security forces for their violent response.”

Human rights group Open Stadiums demanded that FIFA remove Iran from the soccer World Cup finals slated for November in Qatar. In a letter to FIFA, the organization asked “Why would FIFA give the Iranian state and its representatives a global stage, while it not only refuses to respect basic human rights and dignities, but is currently torturing and killing its own people?”

Sept. 30, 2022: Protests continued for a 15th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Mashhad; Abadan; Karaj, Alborz province; Zahedan, Sistan-Baluchistan province; Dezful, Khuzestan province; and Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province.

In Yazd, security forces arrested three student activists. In Tehran, protesters set a statue of the late General Soleimani on fire. In Arak, in western Markazi province, women removed their headscarves throughout the city. Women in Rasht, Gilan province did the same. In Saqez, Amini’s hometown, protestors chanted “Death to the dictator” and “Woman, life, freedom.” In Karaj, Alborz province, protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei” from their apartment windows.

The IRGC stated that two IRGC colonels were killed, bringing the total number of IRGC members killed amid the protests to 20. 

Authorities arrested singer Shervin Hajipour for his song “For…,” which was based on social media posts about Amini and the protests. The song had been viewed 34 million times on Instagram in just two days before security forces forced Hajipour to take the song down. Hajipour’s account was later deactivated. 

Senior cleric Mohammad Javad Haj Ali Akbari told a crowd gathered for Friday prayers in Tehran that Iranians were demanding “the harshest punishment for these barbaric rioters.”

In a statement, the Assembly of Experts — which oversees and selects the Supreme Leader — declared support for the government and referred to the protests as “sedition.”

Iran Human Rights, an organization based in Norway, reported that at least 83 people, including children, had been killed during protests. 

Security forces detained nine European individuals “during the riots or while plotting in the background,” according to an intelligence ministry statement. Some of the individuals were reportedly from Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Oct. 1, 2022: Protests continued for a 16th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in many cities, including Tehran; Mashhad; Esfahan; Yazd; Shiraz; Karaj; Tabriz; Kerman; Kermanshah; Sanandaj; Rasht; Dehgolan; Babol; Bandar Abbas; Zanjan, capital of Zanjan province; Qods, Tehran province; Yasouj; Bushehr, capital of Bushehr province; and Birjand, capital of South Khorasan province. Protests had spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to Reuters.

In Kurdish areas of Iran, protesters began a general strike in response to the IRGC attacks on Kurdish separatists based in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Iranians closed their shops and took to the streets in several cities in Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan and Kermanshah provinces.

Protesters in Tehran gathered in the city’s bazaar and chanted “We will be killed one by one if we do not stand together.” At Tehran University,  students chanted “Disgrace, disgrace” at security forces.  

In Zahedan, schools and shops closed after a deadly clash on September 30. At Mashhad Ferdowsi University, students involved in the nationwide university strike chanted “Political prisoners must be released.”Security forces reportedly arrested dozens of student protesters across the country.

The heads of Iran’s three branches of government – President Ebrahim Raisi, Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, and Parliamentary Speaker Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf – discussed plans for putting down protests and “protecting public order and security.”

Oct. 2, 2022: Protests continued for a 17th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Sanandaj; Kerman; Kermanshah; Esfahan; Yazd; Mashhad; Shiraz, capital of Fars province; Najafabad, Isfahan province; and Kashan, Isfahan province. Protesters chanted “Independence, freedom, death to Khamenei” in Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Shiraz, and Mashhad.  Security forces detained students at several universities across Iran.

Clashes broke out at Sharif University in Tehran as security forces, including members of the Basij, on motorbikes raided the campus. They surrounded hundreds of students in a parking lot with guns, paintball guns, batons, and gas. Security forces threatened to shoot students if they went near the subway station, a student told CNN. “And then after half of the students got back into the university, they let the others into the parking lot. And after that, they started shooting them with paint balls and taking them into custody in a very, very savage way.”At least one hundred students and professors were arrested, according to IranWire. The clashes came one day after security forces arrested three students during peaceful protests at Sharif University. Student demonstrators also got into scuffles with counter protestors.  

Parliamentary Speaker Qalibaf claimed that previous protests were aimed at government reforms and that the latest demonstrations were about overthrowing the Islamic Republic. “I ask all who have any (reasons to) protest not to allow their protest to turn into destabilizing and toppling” of the regime, he said. Qalibaf pledged to amend the structures and methods of the morality police.

Iran Human Rights updated its count of those killed during the protest to at least 133 people. 

Oct. 3, 2022: Protests continued for an 18th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Karaj; Zanjan; Sanandaj; Kermanshah; Isfahan; Shiraz; Kerman; Birjand; Shahriar, Tehran province; and Jahrom, Fars province.

Security forces reportedly arrested Bahareh Hedayat, a student at Sharif University and former political prisoner.

At Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, students gathered and chanted “Jailed students must be freed.” At Khayyam University in Mashhad, students chanted “Sharif University has become a jail! Evin Prison has become a university!” In Karaj and Sanandaj, schoolgirls chanted “Woman, life, freedom” while waving their headscarves. Girls in Karaj threw objects and shouted “Shame on you” at an education official, forcing him out of the school. In Shiraz, schoolgirls removed their headscarves and blocked a main street while shouting “Death to the dictator.”

For the first time, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke out against the widespread protests. He claimed, without offering evidence, that the “riots and insecurities” were orchestrated by the United States, Israel and “treasonous Iranians.” 


President Joe Biden endorsed Iran’s protests and pledged to impose “further costs” on the government for its crackdown after the death of Mahsa Amini. “The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery,” he said in a statement.

Canada imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and nine entities, including the IRGC,  involved in the crackdown. “These sanctions are in response to gross human rights violations that have been committed in Iran, including its systematic persecution of women and in particular, the egregious actions committed by Iran's so-called 'Morality Police,' which led to the death of Mahsa Amini while under their custody," the government said in a statement.

Oct. 4, 2022: Protests continued for a 19th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Tabriz, Urmia, Sanandaj, Marivan, Saqez, Esfahan, Shiraz, and Mashhad.


In Tehran, protests went late into the night. In Isfahan, farmers gathered and chanted against President Raisi. In Tabriz, female high school students removed their headscarves and chanted “Women, life, freedom.” In Mashhad, students stomped on pictures of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. In Shiraz, high school girls chanted “If we don’t stand together, we will die alone” while waving their headscarves in the air. At least one girl burned her headscarf. 

In Tehran, students set fire to pictures of Supreme Leaders Khomeini and Khamenei. Schoolgirls in Tehran destroyed a picture of Supreme Leader Khamenei in their classroom. “Don’t let fear in, we stand united. Women, life, liberty,” they chanted.

Iran expanded domestic internet restrictions amid protests by blocking access to nearly all major cellular networks as well as social media platforms Instagram and WhatsApp.

In an address to Parliament, President Raisi called for “unity and national integrity” in the face of protests over Amini’s death. He acknowledged Iran’s “weaknesses and shortcomings” but blamed the demonstrations on Tehran’s enemies.  

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran object to remarks by British officials condemning the crackdown on protestors. “Unfortunately, by issuing one-sided and selective statements, the British side shows that it is essentially involved in the scenario-making by the anti-government individuals who are operating in this country against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the director general of the foreign ministry’s Western Europe department said.

Shervin Hajipour, singer of the song “For…”, was released on bail.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that 35 journalists had been detained or arrested since the start of the protests. 

Iran Human Rights reported that least 154 people had died in protests in at least 17 provinces. The organization stated that at least 63 people were killed during violent clashes in Zahedan on September 30 alone. 

Former Iranian soccer star, Ali Karimi, was charged in absentia for supporting the ongoing protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. He was accused of “assembly and collusion with the intention of acting against national security.” Karimi, who lives in Dubai, was one of the first celebrities to back the demonstrations in social media posts.

The attorney general of Tehran announced that Iran had released 400 detainees after they committed to “never to repeat their acts.” Another official said that protest leaders would remain in detention.

Tehran’s chief prosecutor announced that the judiciary opened an inquiry into Nika Shakarami’s death. Shakarami, a teenager, went missing on September 20 at a protest in Tehran. The last message Shakarami sent was to a friend, saying that the police were chasing her.

Iran continued its artillery assault on Iranian Kurdish dissident groups in northern Iraq. Two people were injured, according to a Komala Party official.

Oct. 5, 2022: Protests continued for a 20th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Qom; Karaj; and Khorasgan, Isfahan province.

In Isfahan, three women waved their headscarves at the top of a bridge and unfurled a banner that said “The next one is one of us.” Crowds gathered in Isfahan at night chanting “Women, life, freedom.” Demonstrators also gathered at night in Qom and Tehran. At Sanandaj University of Medical Sciences, students chanted “Sharif is not alone, Sanadaj supports it,” a reference to the October 2 raid on Sharif University. In Karaj, security forces clashed with protesters during the evening.

The average age of many of the protestors was 15, deputy IRGC commander Ali Favadi stated. He blamed social and foreign media for influencing young Iranians and encouraging them to take to the streets.

Human Rights Watch published a list of 47 people killed during protests, including nine children and six women. The list included information about where and when each person was killed. “Iranian authorities have ruthlessly cracked down on widespread anti-government protests with excessive and lethal force throughout Iran,” the organization said in a statement

IranWire published a running list of people killed during the crackdown. The list included 119 individuals as of October 5. Most of the dead were under age 25 and died as a result of gunshot wounds. The list suggested that security forces were especially brutal in Sistan and Baluchistan province, home to the Baluch ethnic minority, and West Azerbaijan province, which is home to many Kurds. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian warned that Iran would be decisive in dealing with protesters. “We consider peaceful demands to be the right of the people and we always pay attention to them, but they are completely different from rioters who set fire to ambulances, destroy banks and public places, and attack people and police with fire arms and cold weapons or engage in terrorist activities,” he told E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a phone call. “Therefore we will deal decisively with rioters and terrorists in accordance with the law,” he added. Amir-Abdollahian also warned the European Union against interfering in Iran’s domestic affairs.

Security officials released a video showing the aunt and uncle of Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared at a protest in Tehran on September 20 and was later found dead, admitting that security forces did not kill Shakarami. Officials reportedly arrested the couple and forced them to state that Shakarami committed suicide.

Pro-government rallies were organized in northern Tehran. 

Oct. 6, 2022: Protests continued for a 21st day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Rasht; Parand, Tehran province; Eslamshahr, Tehran province; and Bukan, West Azerbaijan province.

Schoolgirls continued to protest at night, chanting “Death to the dictator.” Sharif University’s administrative body condemned the security forces for their October 2 raid on the campus. In Tehran and Isfahan, women removed their headscarves and chanted anti-government slogans.

The United States sanctioned seven senior Iranian officials for violence against protestors and curtailing internet access. The Treasury Department named Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi, Minister of Communications Eisa Zarepour and five security officials. 

Femena and 161 other international human and women’s rights organizations expressed solidarity with Iranian women and protesters and condemned the regime’s brutal crackdown. The group called on the United Nations to condemn the Iranian government, launch an investigation, and increase aid to Iranians seeking refuge. “Iran’s recent protests are referred to as a feminist revolution. Young, fearless women in the streets are taking off their headscarves and setting them on fire right in front of massive line-ups of riot police forces and demanding freedom,” the groups said in a joint statement. “These protests have now gone beyond all divides, and men in large numbers are supporting these fierce women. Even in small cities with more traditional beliefs, everyone is chanting ‘Women, Life, Freedom!’” 

President Raisi blamed Iran’s adversaries for the October 2 clashes at Sharif University. “America, hypocrites and other enemies of the country tried to pursue their anti-Iranian and anti-revolutionary goals within Sharif University,” Raisi told university administrators and officials from the Ministry of Science. “The scientific and moral sanctity and reputation of the elite society of this university should not be allowed to be tarnished by some behavior imposed from outside the university.”

Sharif University professors called on students and faculty on campuses nationwide to hold rallies on October 8 to protest the October 2 raid. 

Six hundred Iranian religious scholars and students issued a statement backing Supreme Leader Khamenei and the government amid ongoing protests. The statement also commended security forces and blamed outside forces for the demonstrations.

Oct. 7, 2022: Protests continued for a 22nd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran and Isfahan. In Tehran, a protester dyed fountains near Student Park, Shahr Theater, Fatemi Square, and Artist’s House red. In Rasht, schoolgirls chanted anti-regime slogans in the streets.


Iran’s Forensic Organization published a medical report claiming that Amini had died due to an underlying illness. “Mahsa Amini’s death was not caused by blows to the head and vital organs and limbs of the body.”

The United States will “continue to coordinate with our allies and partners and respond to Iran's violent crackdown as well as, frankly, its state-sponsored violence against women,” the State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters.

Five prominent Iranian economists called for the government to listen to protesters and implement reforms. “If protest is not heard, it will turn into anger, and anger will turn into hatred,” the group warned in a statement. The economists explained societal unrest by comparing current conditions to those before the 1979 revolution. They argued that the only way to solve Iran’s economic problems is to bring Iranians together and accept “existing cultural and social realities of Iranian society.”

Oct. 8, 2022: Protests continued for a 23rd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Quds; Isfahan; Shiraz; Mashhad; Yazd; Karaj; Rasht; Zanjan; Tabriz; Saqez; Sanandaj; Arak; Babol; Kerman; Shahinshahr, Isfahan province; Gorgan, capital of Golestan province;  Javanrud, Kermanshah province; Hamedan, capital of Hamedan province; Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province; and Fardis, Alborz province.

Shop owners went on strike in Tehran, Shiraz, and several cities in Iranian Kurdistan. In Sanandaj, protesters reportedly seized the city square and clashed with security forces until late in the evening. Security forces reportedly opened fire and killed several people. In Saqez, Amini’s hometown, security forces allegedly beat students from Esmat Girls’ School as they left classes to protest and chant “Death to the dictator.” 

In Tehran, protesters set fire to a police station and security forces raided the city’s bazaar. At Amirkabir University, demonstrators chanted “Hey those who remained silent, the next Mahsa is one of your loved ones.” IRGC forces reportedly raided a high school and confiscated students’ phones. 

In Karaj, protesters blocked streets and chanted “Death to the dictator.” University students boycotted classes in Karaj, Isfahan, and Tabriz. Women removed their headscarves during protests in Mashhad. 


Female students demonstrated during President Raisi’s speech at Al Zahra University, a college for women in Tehran. “Get lost,” they chanted. “President is in the university while the students are in prison.” Referring to Raisi’s role in a death commission that sent some 5,000 political prisoners to their death, they cried, “We don’t want a corrupt system, we don’t want a murderer guest.”

Raisi recited a Persian poem that compared “rioters” to flies. The protestors “imagine they can achieve their evil goals in universities,” the president said. “Unbeknownst to them, our students and professors are alert and will not allow the enemy to realize their evil goals.” Iranian leaders often use the vague term “enemy” to refer to Iran’s adversaries at home and abroad, including the United States and Israel.

Opposition group Edaalate Ali or “Ali’s Justice” reportedly hacked the state television news as it broadcast a speech by Khamenei. The short clip, less than 10 seconds long, included a graphic picture with crosshairs on Khamenei above photos of Amini and three other women – Sarina Esmailzadeh, Hadis Najafi and Nika Shakarami – who were allegedly killed during the government crackdown on protests. The caption read, “Join us and rise up” and “The blood of our youth is dripping from your claws.” The sound of protestors chanting “woman, life, freedom” was heard in the background. The male news anchor looked shocked when the broadcast cut back to the studio. 

Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group,  stated that at least 185 individuals, including at least 19 children, had been killed during the protests.

President Raisi, Parliament Speaker Qalibaf, and judiciary chief Ejei lauded the security forces for maintaining the peace. In a meeting, the heads of the three branches of government also commended the public for “thwarting the plot of the enemies in the events of recent weeks,” according to a readout.

Oct. 9, 2022: Protests continued for a 24th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran, Mashhad, Karaj, Qazvin, Zanjan, Mahabad, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Arak, and Bandar Abbas. 

Security forces continued raiding girls’ schools and seizing students’ phones for evidence of participation in protests. In Bandar Abbas, schoolgirls removed their headscarves and chanted “Death to the dictator.” 

Female security forces raided a girls’ high school in Zanjan. Security forces also raided the homes of schoolgirls and arrested several girls in Karaj. At Alameh University, protesters chanted “From Zahedan to Tehran, we sacrifice our lives for Iran.”

Iranian media attempted to downplay the extent of protests following nationwide demonstrations on October 8. Iran, the government newspaper, claimed that there were a “small number of rioters” and blamed outside powers for the protests. 

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for new E.U. sanctions on Iran for its crackdown on protesters. “Those who beat up women and girls on the street, carry off people who want nothing other than to live freely, arrest them arbitrarily and sentence them to death stand on the wrong side of history,” she said to a German newspaper. “We will ensure that the E.U imposes entry bans on those responsible for this brutal repression and freezes their assets in the E.U.”

During a cabinet meeting, President Raisi accused foreign powers of trying to “confuse the public mind with psychological warfare” by supporting the protests.  He also stressed the importance of “accurate and fact-based content in the media and cyberspace to present a true and real narrative of the country’s events.” 

Oct. 10, 2022: Protests continued for a 25th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Qazvin; Arak; Kermanshah; Saqez; Abadan; Marvdasht, Fars province; and Asaluyeh, Bushehr province.

More than 4,000 contract oil workers reportedly went on strike in Persian Gulf coast cities including Asaluyeh, Borzovieh, Bushehr, and Hemgan. In Asaluyeh, workers piled rocks and set fires in the streets to interfere with security forces. Workers chanted “Death to Khamenei” and “This year is the year of blood, Seyyed Ali Khamenei is done.” Security forces arrested at least two workers’ rights activists in Tehran. 

Security forces deployed to Kurdish cities following clashes over the weekend in Sanandaj. Protesters clashed with security forces in Sanandaj again. Security forces raided homes of protesters in Saqez and arrested several people, including at least one woman. 

At least 266 religious scholars and imams from Kurdish towns in western Iran condemned security forces’ brutality and expressed support for protesters. “We have witnessed the eruption of Iranians' anger and suffering over the past few days,” the group said. “This has been caused by decades of the government ignoring and not listening to their religious, humanitarian and legal demands.”

Judiciary chief Ejei expressed willingness to participate in dialogue with protesters. “If political factions, groups, or individuals have any questions, criticism, ambiguity, or protest, I declare my readiness to talk to them,” he said. He also stated that the regime would make “corrections” based on criticism. 

Britain sanctioned Iran’s morality police and several senior security officials involved in the bloody crackdown on protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. The new sanctions “send a clear message to the Iranian authorities — we will hold you to account for your repression of women and girls, and for the shocking violence you have inflicted on your own people,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

UNICEF expressed concern over  “continuing reports of children and adolescents being killed, injured and detained amid the ongoing public unrest in Iran.” Executive Director Catherine Russell called on authorities to refrain from using disproportionate force. “Children and adolescents must be able to exercise their rights in a safe and peaceful manner at all times.”  

The chief of the Justice Department in Alborz province denied reports that Sarina Esmaelzadeh, a 16-year-old girl, had been beaten to death by security forces on September 23. He claimed that she died “as a result of falling from a height” and blamed hostile media for spreading lies.

Oct. 11, 2022: Protests continued for a 26th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran; Qom; Rasht; Tabriz; Sanandaj; Abadan; Bandar Abbas; Baneh, Kurdistan province; and Borazjan, Bushehr province. 

In Sanandaj, violent clashes between protesters and security forces continued. The IRGC reportedly sent more than 50 vehicles as reinforcements. 

In Tehran, protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei” from rooftops late into the night. Demonstrators in Isfahan and Qom reportedly threw stones at security forces.

Along the Persian Gulf coast, contract oil and petrochemical workers continued their strike for a second day. A group of protesters chanted “Death to the dictator.” Officials claimed the workers were on strike due to a wage dispute, not because of Amini’s death, and that some tried to “hijack the workers’ protests by chanting anti-government slogans.” The Contractual Oil Workers Protest Organizing Council called for more oil workers to join the protests.

The interior ministry will submit a proposal for organizing “peaceful” protests and rallies, a spokesman for President Ebrahim Raisi announced. He described the recent demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini as part of “organized and terrorist activities.”

Fars News Agency claimed that international outlets including BBC Persian, Iran International, Voice of America, and Radio Farda had published over 17,000 lies about the protests in 25 days. 

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi blamed Iranian Kurdish separatist parties based in Iraq for orchestrating ongoing protests. He named the Komala Party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDPI), and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). The Revolutionary Guards had launched attacks on Kurdish positions in northern Iraq starting on September 24.

A judiciary spokesperson claimed that Iran had released around 1,700 individuals detained during the demonstrations. A government spokesperson blamed U.S. sanctions for restricting the availability of medicine for Amini’s supposed chronic illnesses.

Oct. 12, 2022: Protests continued for a 27th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in several cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Fardis, Rasht, Mahabad, Saqez, Marivan, Bukan, Kermanshah, Arak, Abadan, Bushehr, Asaluyeh, Shiraz, Mashhad, Gorgan, and Sari. 

Violent clashes between protesters and security forces continued in northwest Iran’s Kurdish areas, where at least seven protesters were reportedly killed during late-night protests. In Kermanshah, at least two protesters and three security officials were reportedly killed. In Sanandaj, Saqez, Bukan, and Marivan, shop owners gathered in the streets despite orders from security forces to keep their stores open. Protesters clashed with security forces in Saqez. 

In Tehran, a group of women removed their headscarves and chanted “Death to the dictator” while passing drivers honked. Students demonstrated at universities in Tehran. Lawyers protested outside the Iran Central Bar Association and yelled “Woman, life, freedom.” The police and Basij used teargas to disperse the group.

As calls for protests spread at midday, officials reportedly deployed a “massive” number of security forces in Tehran and severely disrupted internet service. Traffic was down some 75 percent. Shop owner strikes that had occurred in Tehran and other cities reportedly spread to Mashhad.

Oil contract workers reportedly continued their strike at facilities along the Persian Gulf coast for the third day.

Ali Larijani, an advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei and a former parliamentary speaker, called for reevaluating the mandatory hijab law. Larijani was reportedly the first  establishment politician to publicly question the government's policies during the protests. “The hijab has a cultural solution, it does not need decrees and referendums,” he said. “I appreciate the services of the police force and Basij, but this burden of encouraging the hijab should not be assigned to them.” Larijani added that Islamic government “means that people manage their own affairs.”

Education Minister Yousef Nouri acknowledged that some school students had been detained and sent to “psychological institutions” for reeducation. “It is possible these students have become ‘anti-social characters’ and we want to reform them,” he told Shargh, a reformist newspaper.

Iran Human Rights updated its count of those killed during protests to at least 201 individuals, including 23 children, across at least 18 provinces. The organization said it was still investigating deaths during the three days of clashes in Kurdistan province. It stated at least five people had died in Kurdistan province during that period.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that at least 5,500 people had been detained since the protests began.

Supreme Leader Khamenei blamed foreign powers for ongoing protests. “The enemy’s role and interference [in these riots] is clear and obvious to everyone, even to impartial foreign experts. These events aren’t a domestic, spontaneous matter,” he said during a meeting with the Expediency Council. “The actions taken by the enemy, their propaganda, their efforts to influence people’s minds, the creation of excitement, and the way they have been encouraging and even teaching people to make flammable and explosive materials, are now completely clear and obvious.” Khamenei distinguished between protesters who were “aligned with the enemy” and others that were “incited.” The first group should be “dealt with by the judicial and security authorities,” but the second should participate in “cultural-educational programs,” he said.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price stressed that Washington was focused on protests in Iran rather than the deadlocked nuclear negotiations. The Iranians “have made very clear that this is not a deal that they have been prepared to make. A deal certainly does not appear imminent,” Price said. “And so right now our focus, just as we were discussing, is on the remarkable bravery and courage that the Iranian people are exhibiting through their peaceful demonstrations, through their exercise of their universal right to freedom of assembly and to freedom of expression. And our focus right now is on shining a spotlight on what they’re doing and supporting them in the ways we can.”

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with more than 20 international companies in the technology industry about internet freedom. She reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the free flow of information, especially in Iran. Sherman stressed that recent U.S. government action is an “opportunity for technology companies to provide people in Iran with essential tools to communicate with each other and the outside world using the Internet,” according to a readout of the discussion.

The European Union agreed to sanction at least 15 Iranian individuals and entities in connection with Amini’s death. “We must hold those accountable that are responsible for the repression of women,” E.U. President Ursula von der Leyen said. “I believe now is the time to sanction those responsible. The shocking violence inflicted on the Iranian people cannot stay unanswered.

Iran sent letters to E.U. ambassadors, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, threatening a severe diplomatic response if the European Union imposes additional sanctions on Iran. “If Europe misses taking the nuances of the current situation into consideration, the ramification will be grave and the bilateral relations may not survive it,” Tehran reportedly warned in one letter. Iran downplayed ongoing protests and emphasized the importance of healthy relations during talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal.

Oct. 13, 2022: Protests continued for a 28th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Ahvaz; Arak; Baneh; Bukan; Ilam, capital of Ilam province; Mahabad; Marivan; Najafabad; Sanandaj; and Saqez. 

In Tehran, protesters clashed with security forces and chanted anti-government slogans from rooftops. An anonymous group, Youth of Tehran Neighborhoods, called for larger demonstrations to be held on Saturday October 15. During the first month of protests, Saturdays became increasingly important to generating new momentum. 

Security forces maintained a heavy presence in Sanandaj and Kermanshah. In Kerman, protesters reportedly wrote “Death to Khamenei” on the Supreme Leader’s local representative office.

In Dehgolan, Kurdistan province, demonstrators blocked the highway between Hamadan and Sanandaj to interfere with security forces. 

Contract oil workers reportedly continued their strike for a fourth day in Abadan and Asaluyeh. Security forces reportedly arrested at least 30 workers and threatened to have others fired. An oil workers union called for all industrial workers to strike.

President Raisi blamed the United States for the unrest in Iran. “Now, following America’s failure in militarization and sanctions, Washington and its allies have resorted to the failed policy of destabilization,” he said at the Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) conference in Kazakhstan.  

Amnesty International reported that at least 23 children had been killed during protests between September 20 and September 30. The dead  included 20 boys between 11 and 17 years old and two girls between 16 and 17 years old. “Iran’s security forces have killed nearly two dozen children in an attempt to crush the spirit of resistance among the country’s courageous youth,” Amnesty’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said. 

Judiciary chief Ejei ordered harsh sentences for instigators of the protests. “I have instructed our judges to avoid showing unnecessary sympathy to main elements of these riots and issue tough sentences for them while separating the less guilty people,” he said. 

The IRGC took down a billboard in Tehran’s Valiasr square portraying 50 Iranian women wearing headscarves under the words “Women of my Land'' after at least three of the women and their relatives protested the use of their images. In a video posted on social media, actor Fatemeh Motamed-Arya demanded that her photo be taken down. “I am a mother. I am Mahsa’s mother. Sarina’s mother. I am the mother of all those children who’ve been killed in this country, not a woman amongst murderers,” she said. Motamed-Arya did not wear a headscarf in the video.  

Canada imposed new sanctions on 17 current and former officials–including an Army general, a former defense minister, a prosecutor involved in torture, and a former foreign minister, and three entities. Canada last imposed sanctions on Iran on October 3.

Oct. 14, 2022: Protests continued for a 28th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Yazd; Zahedan; Sanandaj; Saqez; Bukan; and Lali, Khuzestan province.

In southern Fars province, protesters reportedly shot and killed two Basij members. In Zahedan, protesters chanted “Death to dishonorable Basiji” and “Death to Khamenei” in front of a police station.

Deputy Police Commander Qasem Rezaei said that at least 24 Basij and police had been killed during the protests. 

Security officials prevented filmmaker Mani Haghighi from boarding his flight to London, where he was due to screen his film at the London Film Festival. Haghighi had posted an Instagram video criticizing the mandatory hijab law and the crackdown on protesters. “Perhaps the authorities thought by keeping me here they could keep a closer eye on me, perhaps to threaten me and shut me up,” he said in a video. “Well the very fact that I'm talking to you now in this video kind of undermines that plan. If this is a punishment, by all means, bring it on!”

Iran’s foreign ministry condemned French President Emmanual Macron for expressing solidarity with protesters on October 12. Macron’s “meddlesome” remarks supported “violent people and law breakers,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said.

Supreme Leader Khamenei warned that the Islamic Republic cannot be overthrown. “That seedling is a mighty tree now and no one should dare think they can uproot it,” he said in remarks aired on state television. 

In a call with Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for an end to violent oppression. “People in Iran have the right to peaceful protest and to defend fundamental rights. Violent oppression must stop immediately. Protesters must be released. Internet access and accountability are needed.” 

President Biden expressed his support for women and protesters in Iran. “I want you to know we stand with the citizens and brave women of Iran, who, right now, are demonstrating to secure their very basic, fundamental rights,” he said in a speech. “Iran has to end the violence against its own citizens simply exercising their fundamental rights,” he added. Biden said that was he was “stunned” at the public outcry over Amini’s death. “And it’s awakened something that I don’t think will be quieted in a long, long time.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with civil society activists to discuss women’s and human rights in Iran. “First and foremost, this is the Iranian people standing up with extraordinary courage for the rights that are being denied them. We’ve worked to support those who are standing for their fundamental freedoms despite the efforts of the regime to deny them the ability to assemble, to speak freely, to communicate with each other,” he said. “We’ve imposed sanctions on the so-called morality police that are engaged in incredibly abusive practices. We have of course worked to license technology so that the Iranians have the ability to communicate with one another and to communicate with the outside world.”

Oct. 15, 2022: Protests continued for a 29th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Ardabil, Mahabad, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Hamedan, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shahinshahr, Yazd, and Kerman.

In Ardabil, protesters chanted “We don’t want a child-killing regime” after security forces had raided a high school on October 13 and beat students, including a girl who later died of internal bleeding. In Karaj, security forces clashed with a group of women. In Shiraz, women removed their headscarves and chanted in front of security forces. At Tehran’s Shariati Technical and Vocational College, women chanted “Guns, tanks, fireworks; the mullahs must get lost” while removing their headscarves. Protesters in Isfahan chanted “Death to Khamenei.” 

Commercial strikes reportedly resumed in cities with large Kurdish populations, including Bukan, Sanandaj and Saqez.  

The regime significantly disrupted internet traffic during the morning amid calls for renewed protests. The judiciary reportedly ordered telecommunications companies to ban text-messaging services.

A large fire broke out at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Flames and thick smoke could be seen for miles. Eight prisoners died and dozens were injured, according to the judiciary. Hundreds of security forces, including the Basij paramilitary, were reportedly deployed around the prison. They fired tear gas in at least one prison ward, according to a lawyer who represents political prisoners held at Evin. Nearby residents heard gunfire and explosions. 

Protestors gathered outside the prison and chanted “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Families of prisoners also gathered outside of the grounds to find out if their relatives were safe. Police blocked the roads leading to the prison, which caused massive traffic jams.

President Biden expressed support for protesters again. “The Iranian government is so oppressive, you can’t have anything but an enormous amount of respect for those people marching in the streets,” he said. “I have to admit, I was surprised–not by the response; I was surprised by the courage of people and women taking off their head scarf. It’s been really amazing.”

The United States expressed concern about the safety of Americans–Siamak Namazi and Emad Sharghi–imprisoned at Evin. “We are following reports from Evin Prison,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price tweeted. “We are in contact with the Swiss as our protecting power. Iran is fully responsible for the safety of our wrongfully detained citizens, who should be released immediately.” The two Americans later contacted family to say that they were unharmed. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that Tehran was responsible for the safety of E.U. nationals. 

Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian condemned what he considered Western hypocrisy toward Iran in a phone call with E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “The most violent form of confrontation with riots cannot be seen as a good and acceptable action in Europe while the same action, which takes place within a legal framework in Iran, is counted as a crackdown,” he said.

Oct. 16, 2022: Protests continued for a 30th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Ardabil, Tabriz, Sanandaj, Yazd, and Mashhad. 

In Ardabil, protesters chased security forces. Demonstrators blocked streets and chanted “Death to the Dictator” and “Azerbaijani girls, stars of the sky.” Azeri organizations reportedly called for protests, and some protesters chanted “Azerbaijan will not tolerate this humiliation” in Azeri Turkish. Security forces reportedly detained at least 50 protesters. 

In Tehran, protesters gathered after the organization Youth of Tehran Neighborhoods called for widespread demonstrations. They chanted “Death to child-killer government.” At Tehran University, students compared the Evin Prison fire to the 1979 Rex Cinema fire, which was a trigger for the revolution. Students chanted “Tehran has become a prison. Evin has become a slaughterhouse.” At Beheshti University, women chanted “Woman, life, freedom” during the Evin Prison crisis. In Yazd, demonstrators chanted anti-regime slogans. In Karaj, security forces reportedly opened fire on protesters. 

Elnaz Rekabi, a 33-year-old female climber, competed for Iran without her headscarf in the Asian Climbing Championship in Seoul, South Korea. Rekabi was praised on social media by people from around the world. 

E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned that Iran was responsible for all the lives of its detainees, “including human rights defenders and EU nationals.” Borrell told Foreign Minister Ami-Abdollahian that he expected maximum transparency about what happened at Evin Prison. 

President Raisi condemned President Biden’s remarks on the protests. “The comments of the American President in support of chaos, assassination and insecurity in Iran once again proved the falseness of the claim to support human rights, security and peace and gave meaning to the title of the Great Devil,” Raisi said in a cabinet meeting. “The enemy seeks to induce despair and hopelessness by the recent events and we must take effective measures to advance affairs and solve people’s problems by confronting this conspiracy by the enemies.”

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami blamed the United States for unrest in schools. “Today the Americans seek to extend the battlefield to Iranian schools, because no action can be taken against students.”

Iran’s foreign ministry blamed President Biden for ongoing protests. “On Saturday, Biden interfered for the umpteenth time in Iran’s state matters by supporting the riots as he has done ever since the outbreak of recent developments in Iran,” the ministry said.

Parliament’s Committee of Councils and Internal Affairs reported that Mahsa Amini “was not subject to any kind of beating during her detention by the police.” The committee threatened protesters and those who “made hasty remarks before the incident was clarified” with prosecution.

General Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Armed Forces, said that Iran would continue operations in Iraqi Kurdistan. He accused the United States and Israel of training dissident groups in the area and warned that Iran “continues to keep U.S. bases across Iraq under surveillance.” Iran had started a campaign against Iranian Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 24.


Oct. 17, 2022: Protests continued for a 31st day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Sanandaj; Najafabad; Bushehr; Bandar Abbas; and Shahrekord, capital of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province. 

In Abdanan, Ilam province, protesters reportedly burned down a Basij statue, and additional security forces were reportedly sent there from Dehloran. In Sanandaj, protesters chanted “Death to the dictator” amid a crackdown in Kurdish-majority areas in the northwest. Student protests continued as young Iranians boycotted classes at Karaj’s Azad University, Mazandaran University, University of Bushehr, and others. Students chanted “Give us your support” at their professors and called for nationwide strikes.

A traffic police officer was reportedly shot in Saravan, Sistan and Baluchistan province. The local police commander said the officer was shot by “terrorists” with AK-47s. Protesters gathered in Isfahan and chanted “Death to the dictator.” 

At least 215 people, including 27 children, had been killed during protests, according to Iran Human Rights. The organization recorded deaths in at least 19 provinces.

The European Union imposed new sanctions on 11 Iranians and four institutions, including the Morality Police, for human rights violations. “Unanimous decision today to take action against those in Iran responsible for the death of Mahsa Amini and violent repression of peaceful protests,” E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted. “The EU will always act against serious human rights violations.” 

Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian condemned the new E.U sanctions. “Down a well-worn path of ineffective sanctions, the EU today adopted further superfluous sanctions on Iranian persons. It is an unconstructive act out of miscalculation, based on widespread disinformation. Riots and vandalism are not tolerated anywhere; Iran is no exception,” he tweeted.

The United Nations reported that at least 23 children had been killed and hundreds more injured or detained. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child urged Iran to stop using force against demonstrators. “Many children, including many girls, are protesting to make their opinions known on issues that matter to them. Their right to be heard should not be stifled by any level of force.”

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami accused Saudi Arabia of interfering with Iran’s internal affairs. “I have a recommendation to Saudi Arabia, which is trying to trick our youth with the support of some media outlets. I am warning the Saudi regime: Be careful of your behavior and control these outlets or the smoke will blow in your face,” he said. “We give you the final word because you are interfering in our internal affairs with these media. We told you, be careful.”

Oct. 18, 2022: Protests continued for a 32nd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Babol, Rasht, Tabriz, and Sanandaj.

In western Ekbatan, protesters chanted “We don’t want, we don’t want, a government that kills children” in reference to Asra Panahi’s death in Ardabil on October 13. At Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabai University, students chanted “Shameless, shameless” at a government spokesperson who was scheduled to give a speech. In Saqez, protesters gathered in the evening.

Strikes spread to non-oil sectors. Workers reportedly went on strike at the Ghadir steel complex in Fars province and Kian Tire company in Alborz. Strikes among contract workers continued at petrochemical plants along the Persian Gulf in Bushehr, Asaluyeh, Abadan, and Bandar Abbas. 

Iran condemned the European Union for its imposition of new sanctions. “It is deeply regrettable that certain political motivations as well as relying on baseless, distorted information and fabricated claims by the enemies of the Iranian nation and the well-known media affiliated with them are the basis of such a wrong and unconstructive decision,” the foreign ministry said. It also threatened retaliatory sanctions on E.U. officials and entities.

Iran’s U.N. delegation condemned alleged attacks on Iranian diplomats and embassies in Europe during the first month of protests. “In addition to being exceptional and significant, the scope and scale of this well-organized violence against Iranian diplomatic and consular facilities, as well as their representatives in Europe, are also a part of a larger campaign that some states have been waging against Iran,” Deputy Permanent U.N. Representative Zahra Ershadi said. She cited violence that had occurred in Germany, Britain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands.

Oct. 19, 2022: Protests continued for a 33rd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Arak, Kermanshah, and Zahedan.

In Saqez, bazaar shop owners reportedly continued. Protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei” and gathered at universities during evening protests in Tehran, Sanandaj, and Dehgolan. 

In Tehran, climber Elnaz Rekabi was greeted by hundreds of people chanting her name at the airport. She reiterated that she did not purposefully compete in the Seoul climbing championships without her headscarf on October 16. “I was unexpectedly called upon and I attended the competition. I somehow got busy with the equipment, and it made me negligent to the hijab,” she told IRNA. Rekabi was reportedly questioned by officials.

Security forces had reportedly detained at least 14 foreign citizens during protests, according to Fars News. The protesters were reportedly citizens of the United States, Austria, Britain, France, and Russia. 

Iran sanctioned several British entities–including BBC Persian, Iran International, the National Cyber Security Centre of Britain, and the British Government Communications Headquarters–for supporting protests. It also sanctioned nine individuals, including government officials and military commanders. Iran charged that the sanctioned entities and individuals were “deliberately supporting terrorism and terrorist groups, promoting and instigating terrorism, violence and hate-mongering and violation of human rights.” Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran would sanction U.S. and British entities responsible for the “imposition of sanctions against the Iranian nation and also institutions that supported the riots and unrest in Iran.” The sanctions would target at least four entities and 15 individuals.

Canada sanctioned six Iranians and four entities for “gross and systematic violations of human rights, ongoing grave breach of international peace and security and continued state-sponsored disinformation activities.” Canada sanctioned Mohammad Karami–an IRGC Qods Force commander–as well as the Guardian Council, the Assembly of Experts, the Expediency Discernment Council, and Fars News Agency. 

Oct. 20, 2022: Protests continued for a 34th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Tabriz, and Isfahan.

The government reportedly sent reinforcements to Tabriz during clashes between protesters and security forces. Protesters chanted “Death to the dictator” while setting fires in the streets. The government shut down the internet and restricted phone service. In northwestern Marivan, women removed their headscarves and chanted anti-regime slogans. 

Strikes reportedly continued at petrochemical, gas, sugarcane, and tire companies. Security forces reportedly detained several managers of petrochemical companies. 

Human rights organization HRANA reported that 244 people had been killed and more than 12,500 had been detained during the protests. It claimed that nearly 500 protests had taken place across 114 cities and 81 universities.

The United States issued a joint statement with the Freedom Online Coalition condemning Iran’s internet shutdowns. “In furtherance of what has become a longstanding pattern of censorship, the Iranian government has to a large scale shut down the Internet yet again for most of its 84 million citizens nationwide by cutting off mobile data; disrupting popular social media platforms; throttling Internet service; and blocking individual users, encrypted DNS services, text messages, and access entirely,” the statement said. “We emphatically call on the Government of Iran to immediately lift restrictions intended to disrupt or prevent their citizens from accessing and disseminating information online and from communicating safely and securely.”

Canadian Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, planned to host a virtual meeting with over a dozen of the world's female foreign ministers to discuss women’s and human rights in Iran. “My counterparts and I will gather to send a clear message: the Iranian regime must end all forms of violence and persecution against the Iranian people, including their brutal aggressions against women in particular.” Canada “will continue to stand by the courageous Iranians who are fighting for their human rights and standing up for their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Women’s rights are human rights,” Joly said.

Oct. 21, 2022: Protests continued for a 35th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tabriz, Isfahan, and Zahedan. 

In Tabriz, protesters chanted “Disgraceful” while security forces used tear gas against them. In Zahedan, roughly 300 protesters gathered, and some attacked banks and shops, according to state media. Security forces detained dozens. Prominent Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid blamed the government for the deadly clashes in Zahedan on September 30. “For what crime were they killed? Officials, the country's managers, the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, who commands all armed forces are all responsible before God,” he said. 

The anonymous Youth of Tehran Neighborhoods group called for protests in Germany on October 22 and backed demands for countries to cut or downgrade ties with the Islamic Republic.

Senior cleric Ahmad Khatami, a member of Guardian Council and the Assembly of Experts, demanded harsh punishments for some protesters. He said those who “were deceived” should not be detained “on the condition that they do not repeat [their mistake] again.” But “those who took money to chant slogans, there is no mercy for them,” Khatami said in his Friday sermon.

Abdolrahim Mousavi, the commander of the conventional Army, blamed the United States and Israel for causing divisions between Iranians of different generations and ethnicities. “Seduction of the youth and discord between generations, ethnic groups, guilds and unions, political parties, classes of society, religions and sects, are the plots designed by the think tanks and research centers of the American and Zionist regime's intelligence apparatuses,” Mousavi said. Ali Fadavi, the deputy IRGC commander, also blamed foreign powers for undermining the regime through a “hybrid approach, combined with soft power.”

Hacking group Black Reward reportedly hacked Iran’s nuclear energy organization and released emails of a subsidiary company, the Nuclear Energy Production and Development Co. The group published information related to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, nuclear contracts, and the power plant in southwestern Bushehr. Black Reward demanded the release of political prisoners and an end to the crackdown.

Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian and E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell spoke about the war in Ukraine and protests in Iran. Amir-Abdollahian condemned European countries for allegedly supporting “rioting, terrorism and vandalism in Iran due to the wrong analysis of the situation and under the pretext of defending human rights.”

Oct. 22, 2022: Protests continued for a 36th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Zahedan; Tabriz; Mashhad; Mahabad; Sanandaj; Kermanshah; Hamedan; Arak; Isfahan; Dezful; Ahvaz; Yasuj; Shiraz; Yazd; Bandar-e Lengeh, Hormozgan province; Tonekabon, Mazandaran province; Babolsar, Mazandaran province; and Bojnord, North Khorasan province.

In Tehran, classes resumed at Sharif University after clashes between security forces and students in early October. Female students reportedly removed their hijabs and went to the men’s dining hall. At Beheshti University, protesters chanted “I will kill my sister’s killer.” At Allameh University, protesters chanted “Freedom is our right, Mahsa is our code name.” 

Students reportedly gathered at Zahedan University, Tabriz University, and Ahvaz University as well. 

The IRGC threatened Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid, who had condemned the government’s crackdown in Zahedan. “Mr. Abdolhamid, encouraging and agitating youths against the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran may cost you dearly! This is the last warning!”the IRGC said in a statement on Sepah News.

Protests were “decreasing every day” at universities and “going through their final days,” with the exception of Zahedan, Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi claimed.

Roughly 80,000 demonstrators gathered in Berlin, Germany to express solidarity with Iranians. Demonstrators chanted “Women, life, freedom” and waved anti-regime posters.

Iran claimed that the United States was supporting protests in Iran to force concessions in nuclear negotiations. “The Americans continue to exchange messages with us, but they are trying to fan the flames of what has been going on inside Iran in recent days,” Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian said. “I think they are looking to exert political and psychological pressure on Iran to obtain concessions in the negotiations.”

The judiciary said that Iran would sue the United States over its “direct role and involvement” in the protests. 

The foreign ministry condemned Canada for imposing sanctions on Iranian media organizations and officials.

Oct. 23, 2022: Protests continued for a 37th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Karaj; Mahabad; Sanandaj; Kermanshah; Dezful; Isfahan; Bandar Abbas; Zahedan; Mashhad; Jahrom; and Khomeinishahr, Isfahan province.

At Tehran’s Sharif University, students protested against the crackdown and demanded that the administration respond to the “violation of norms.” Other students reportedly “chanted vulgar slogans” and clashed with the protesters. Basij members reportedly posed as students tried to lock down the dining hall, where female and male students had defied gender segregation rules to eat together on October 22. The university suspended those responsible for “creating an uneasy atmosphere.” 

In Yazd, university students reportedly called for professors to join protests. At Zahedan University, students chanted “Our dollars are in Lebanon; our youth are in prison.” They were referring to Iran’s longtime support to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite political party and militia. At Karaj’s Azad University, students chanted anti-Basij slogans. Security forces reportedly clashed with female students who had removed their headscarves in Sanandaj. 

The Coordinating Council of Teachers’ Cultural Associations said that teachers were on strike in several cities, including Saqez, Marivan, Sanandaj, Mahabad, Shiraz, and Hamedan. Medics reportedly joined the student and teacher strike. Doctors, surgeons, dentists, and authors called on the regime to release prisoners and stop violence against protesters.

Oct. 24, 2022: Protests continued for a 38th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Babolsar; Tabriz; Saqez; Hamedan; Kashan; Isfahan; Shahrekord; Dezful; Ahvaz; Shiraz; Bandar Abbas; Zahedan; and Falavarjan, Isfahan province. 

At Tehran’s Khajeh Nasir University, students chanted “Woman, life, freedom” and “We don’t want a corrupt system, we don’t want a murderous guest” during a government spokesperson’s speech. Clashes broke out at a girls’ school in Tehran after the principal tried to look at students’ phones. Security forces reportedly raided the school and beat students. Sana Soleimani, a 16-year-old, was hospitalized.

The teacher strike continued for a second day in several cities, including Saqez, Marivan, Shiraz, Sanandaj, Mahabad, Kermanshah, Hamedan, and Mazandaran. Students protested in Hamedan, Tabriz, Sharif, Dezful, Ahvaz, and other cities. At Ahvaz’s Shahid Chamran University, students chanted “A student may die but will not accept humiliation.” 

The judiciary said that 516 people would face charges for protesting. Four individuals faced the death penalty for “war against God.” The punishment “will be a disincentive” to other protesters, judiciary chief Ejei said. 

The Reform Front, an umbrella of 27 reformist parties, said that it did not seek regime change. “We cannot align with the protesters on the street who chant for regime change; we reject their slogans,” Behzad Nabavi, head of the organization, said. “We don’t want to blow up the building. Rather, we want to fix the same building and fix its defects, which we know is a very difficult and expensive task.”

Former Iranian soccer star Ali Karimi–who was living in Dubai–said that he and his family had been threatened over his support for the protests. “Of course, I don't care,” he tweeted. “I am still mourning and worried about my compatriots in the place of my beloved homeland, and all my concern is the peace of the people of my land.”

Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid–who spoke out regarding the regime’s crackdown in Zahedan–met with supporters and said that people were no longer afraid of the government. “Unfortunately, officials are not listening. For 43 years we've been shouting for the (rights of) Sunnis and the Baluch who are the owners of this land and have been defending the area.” 

Oct. 25, 2022: Protests continued for a 39th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Qom, Quds, Karaj, Rasht, Ardabil, Hamedan, Isfahan, Shahrekord, Yazd, Kerman, and Mashhad. 

Students reportedly clashed with Basij members at Beheshti University, Tarbiat Modares University, Sharif University, Azad University, and Hakim Sabzevari University. At Tarbiat Modares University, students chanted “Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid.” 

IRGC Colonel Mehdi Molashahi and Basij member Javad Kikha were reportedly killed in Zahedan. The southeastern city had been the site of particularly brutal crackdowns. 

Mahsa Amini’s family canceled the ceremony commemorating 40 days Amini’s death, which was planned for October 26. Security forces had reportedly threatened her family with arrest.

At least 234 people–including 29 children–had been killed during the protests, according to Iran Human Rights. The deaths were reported in at least 21 provinces.

Oct. 26, 2022: Protests continued for a 40th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Shahriar; Karaj; Qazvin; Tabriz; Mahabad; Saqez; Bukan; Marivan; Sanandaj; Hamedan; Arak; Ahvaz; Shahinshahr; Najafabad; Isfahan; Shiraz; Yazd; Kerman; Zahedan; Mashhad; and Lahijan, Gilan province.

Some 10,000 protesters gathered at Amini’s burial site in Saqez to mark 40 days since her death, an important mourning period in Islam. They chanted “Kurdistan Kurdistan, the graveyard of fascists” and “Death to the dictator.” Shop owners closed their shops. Security forces reportedly blocked streets into Saqez and fired on protesters. They killed at least one protester. Protesters clashed with security forces near the local governor’s office. Pro-government media reportedly claimed that schools in Kurdistan were closed due to a “wave of influenza.” The government reportedly placed Mahsa Amini’s parents and brother under house arrest in their family home amid the demonstrations. 

In Sanandaj, security forces opened fire on protesters. In Tehran, Shiraz, Qazvin, and Saqez, security forces fired pellets, paintballs, and live bullets at crowds. Shop owners in Tehran’s bazaar closed their shops. At least two people were killed during late night demonstrations in Mahabad. Security forces reportedly cracked down on a protest by medical workers in Tehran. They fired tear gas, paintballs, and pellets at protesters. Protesters destroyed a police motorcycle in Mashhad. An IRGC member was reportedly killed in Malayer, Hamedan province. The government reportedly disrupted internet access in Kurdistan province.

Zoha Abdi, a student at Isfahan University, was reportedly detained after treating an injured protester at a hospital. Mehrshad Shahidi, a 19-year-old, was reportedly beaten to death in Arak. 

Tehran’s Sharif University reportedly announced that new student classes would continue to be held virtually due to the “persistence of some problems and the lack of a calm environment.”

At least 15 people, including two children, were reportedly killed in an attack on Shahcheragh Shrine in Shiraz. State media said that two suspects were detained and that security forces were searching for a third person. The Islamic State, a Sunni jihadist group, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Shiite holy site. It claimed that two fighters killed 20 people. Officials blamed the attack on insecurity due to the protests. 

“The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots pave the ground for terrorist acts,” President Raisi said a day later. 

The United States sanctioned 14 senior officials—including IRGC commanders, intelligence and police officials, prison administrators, and a governor—from at least five provinces. It also designated an internet surveillance company, a prison, and a cybersecurity training institute for their roles in censorship, surveillance, and broad human rights violations during the 2022 protests or a previous demonstration in 2021.

Female foreign ministers from 12 countries – Canada, Albania, Andorra, Australia, France, Germany, Iceland, Kosovo, Libya, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, and Norway – expressed solidarity with Iranian women in a joint statement. They called for a U.N. investigation into human rights abuses. “As women foreign ministers, we feel a responsibility to echo the voices of Iranian women. We condemn the violent enforcement of the chastity law and the ongoing crackdown against protestors in Iran who exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Twenty-two U.N. human rights experts, including six special rapporteurs, condemned Iran for its treatment of protesters and called for investigations into detentions, uses of force, violence, torture, and disappearances. “We are deeply troubled by continued reports of deliberate and unlawful use by the Iranian security forces of live ammunition, metal pellets and buckshot against peaceful unarmed protesters in breach of the principles of legality, precaution, necessity, non-discrimination and proportionality, applicable to the use of force,” the experts said in a statement. “Despite repeated calls for accountability to the government to end structural gender-based discriminatory laws and practices, as well as other human rights violations, we regret that these calls have remained largely unheard.”

The Biden Administration expressed concern over reports that Russia advised or considered advising Iran on “best practices to manage protests.”

Iran sanctioned at least eight E.U. entities and 12 individuals in response to the European Union’s October 17 sanctions for the regime’s human rights abuses. The E.U. entities included press and advocacy organizations and individuals included politicians and news editors.

Germany announced more stringent restrictions on visas for Iranian officials, especially members of sanctioned organizations. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that visas would be issued “only where absolutely necessary.”

Oct. 27, 2022: Protests continued for a 41st day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Mashhad; Mahabad, Baneh; Bukan; Sanandaj; Dehgolan; Khorramabad; and Miandoab, West Azerbaijan province.

Protesters gathered in Lorestan province to commemorate the 40th day since the death of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami. Security forces reportedly fired tear gas and opened fire on protesters, who chanted “Khamenei will be overthrown this bloody year” and “We are all Nika, come on fight.”

In western Mahabad, protesters clashed with security forces after the death of at least one man on October 26. Protesters reportedly assaulted the buildings of the governor and mayor. Security forces opened fire. At least three protesters were killed during the clashes in Mahabad. At the funeral for one man, Ismail Mowludi, protesters chanted “Kurdistan, Kurdistan will be the graveyard of fascists.”

Hundreds of pro-government students gathered outside of the British Embassy to protest alleged “interference” in Iran’s domestic affairs, according to state media. 

Two Basij members were reportedly killed in northern Amol. One IRGC member was reportedly killed by a hand grenade in Tehran. Roughly 30 security forces had been killed since the protests started, according to state media.

Setareh Saeedi, a 16-year-old girl who died after security forces beat her in Sanandaj, was buried. Officials reportedly pressured her family to say that she died of suicide.

Sadaf Movahedi, a 17-year-old girl, reportedly died after being beaten by security forces on October 24.

Zahedan police officials, including the chief, were removed after deadly clashes on September 30 and subsequent unrest. 

Mahsa Amini’s parents and brother were reportedly still under house arrest. 

At least 266 people had been killed and nearly 14,000 people had been detained since the start of the protests, human rights organization HRANA reported.

Former President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, condemned the October 26 terrorist attack in Shiraz and expressed support for Iranians’ right to protest. “The demand for a good, safe and just life is a natural request. If the people find that these conditions are not available, they have the right to criticize and protest,” he said in a statement. “Criticism and protest must negate violence and not be contaminated by it, especially in situations where Iran's enemies on the outside have false hope through inhumane weapons, such as sanctions or encouraging violence to exploit the pure blood of the country's youth.” 

Supreme Leader Khamenei promised a response to the attack in Shiraz that left at least 15 dead. “We all have a duty to deal with the enemy and its traitorous or ignorant agents,” he said. President Raisi blamed ongoing protests for making Iran vulnerable. “The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots pave the ground for terrorist acts,” he said.

Major General Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Armed Forces, and IRGC Commander Hossein Salami promised a response to the attack on the Shiraz shrine. Protesters were “undoubtedly complicit in this big crime,” Bagheri alleged. Iran will target the “internal and foreign designers and perpetrators” of the attack, he pledged. 

Amnesty International reported that at least eight protesters across four provinces were killed between October 26 and October 27. The organization condemned the government crackdown and called for a U.N. investigation. Ismail Mowludi, Kobra Sheikheh, Zaniar Aboubekri, and Shahou Kezri were killed on October 27 in Mahabad. Two others were killed in Baneh. On October 26, Mohammad Shariati was killed in Sanandaj, and Afshin Asham was killed in Ghasreshirin, Kermanshah province.

Oct. 28, 2022: Protests continued for a 42nd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Babol, Urmia, Mahabad, Bukan, Sanandaj, Zahedan, and Saravan. 

In Zahedan, security forces opened fire on protesters near Makki Grand Mosque. The government reportedly deployed armored vehicles and drones to the city and disrupted internet access. Protesters chanted “This year is the year of blood, the year that Seyed Ali will be toppled.” At Bandar Abbas University, security forces raided a student residence building. They beat, shot at, and detained students who chanted “Women, life, freedom.” In Kermanshah, security forces reportedly fired on a group of female student protesters. Two students were reportedly injured.

The IRGC’s Intelligence Organization and the Ministry of Intelligence accused Niloofar Hamedi, a journalist at Shargh, a reformist newspaper, and Elaheh Mohammadi, a journalist at Hammihan, another reformist daily, of spying for the United States and acting as “primary sources of news for foreign media.” In a joint statement, the two institutions also charged the United States, Britain, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of planning a “nationwide riot in Iran.” Hamedi was detained on September 22. She covered Amini’s hospitalization and death. Mohammadi was detained on September 29. She covered Amini’s funeral. Both were reportedly held in Evin prison.

The IRGC claimed to have prevented a bombing in Shiraz on October 26, when 15 people died in an apparent terrorist attack on a Shiite shrine. The IRGC said that a bomb was found after the shooting.

The IRGC and Ministry of Information claimed that the United States had paid and trained protesters. They also condemned Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Britain for allegedly fueling the unrest. “Intelligence evidence shows that the CIA had devised an extensive plan with the cooperation of allied spy services and reactionary proxies… to initiate a nationwide chaos,” they said in a joint statement.

At least 253 people had been killed, including 34 children, since the protests began, according to Iran Human Rights. Deaths occurred in at least 21 provinces. Since October 26, at least 16 people had been killed.

The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over reports that security forces were harassing protesters’ families, detaining injured protesters that sought medical assistance, and denying families the right to claim the bodies of dead protesters.

Oct. 29, 2022: Protests continued for a 43rd day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Karaj; Ghazvin; Urmia; Saqez; Marivan; Sanandaj; Kermanshah; Arak; Khorramabad; Isfahan; Ahvaz; Yazd; Mashhad; Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan province; and Lasht-e Nesha, Gilan province.

Security forces reportedly fired on schoolgirls in Saqez and students at Sanandaj’s Kurdistan University of Medical Science. Protesters gathered at universities in Tehran, Ahvaz, Arak, Kerman, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Qazvin, and Yazd.

IRGC commander Hossein Salami warned protesters against taking to the streets again.. “We tell the youth and those who were deceived that today is the last day of the riots,” he said at a funeral for those who were killed in the October 26 attack on a shrine in Shiraz. “This ominous sedition will bring no happy ending to you. Do not ruin your future.”

At least 175,000 people had protested during the first month of demonstrations from mid-September to mid-October, according to a government report seen by IranWire. Security forces had detained at least 2,000 protesters and released about 1,700. The average age of detainees was 17. Most told interrogators that they wanted to bring down the regime, and 90 percent were detained for the first time in their lives, according to the report. 

Oct. 30, 2022: Protests continued for a 44th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Babol; Gorgan; Ghazvin; Zanjan; Sanandaj; Arak; Ahvaz; Shiraz; Mashhad; Shahrud, Semnan province; Tafresh, Markazi province; Parand, Tehran province; and Koudasht, Lorestan province.

At Azad University in Tehran, security forces and Basij members beat students and fired tear gas. Male and female students gathered at Tehran University of Science and Technology in violation of gender segregation rules. At the University of Tehran, students chanted “This is not the time for mourning, this is the time for anger.” Students also chanted “We don’t want a baby-killing government.” At Shiraz Pharmaceutical Faculty, students chanted “Death to the shooter, whether Zahedan or Shiraz.”

Security officials detained Toomaj Salehi, a popular rapper who had criticized the government in his songs.. Iranian media claimed that he was leaving the country, but that was not his intention, according to IranWire.

At least 300 Iranian journalists called on authorities to release Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi who were accused of spying for the United States.

Brigadier General Mohammadreza Mahdavi, an IRGC commander in Khorasan province, threatened harsher crackdowns. “Basijis have shown restraint and they have been patient. But it will get out of our control if the situation continues,” he said.

In a meeting with university presidents, President Raisi said that campuses were the “best place for dialogue and discussion” about the protests. “The most important precondition for such dialogues is the correct understanding of issues,” he said. “If the issues are not analyzed well, they will be affected by the atmosphere created by the media, leading to error.” 

President Raisi offered condolences to the family of Arman Aliverdi, a Basij member lwho was killed during protests. “Security is the red line of the government and we will not allow the enemy’s plots to damage this valuable national capital,” he said during a phone call. 

During a cabinet meeting, President Raisi condemned the October 26 attack on the Shiraz shrine and described protests as “decisive confrontation with terrorists.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that Germany and the European Union would “examine how” to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization as part of a new round of sanctions.

Oct. 31, 2022: Protests continued for a 45th day. Demonstrations were reportedly held in multiple cities, including Tehran; Karaj, Qazvin; Zanjan; Tabriz; Sanandaj; Arak; Khorramabad; Dezful; Shiraz; Zahedan; Mashhad; Shahrud; and Neyshabur, Razavi Khorasan province.a

The judiciary said that some 1,000 detained protesters would be tried publicly. The detainees were “central” to the protests and were charged with “subversive actions,” according to local media.  Judiciary chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said that authorities were working to identify “who had the intention of confronting the system and overthrowing it.” Ejei claimed that the government had “shown restraint” in its response to separate “rioters” from other demonstrators. “Even amongst the rioters, some may not want to confront the government and pursue regime change.”

Iran sanctioned 10 Americans–including military commanders, government officials and leaders of think tanks– and four U.S. entities including the CIA, the U.S. Ninth Air Force, the U.S. National Guard, and United Against a Nuclear Iran, a non-governmental organization. The Foreign Ministry accused  them of “acts against human rights,” interference in Iranian affairs, provoking “violence and disorder,” and inciting terrorism, among other charges.

New Zealand suspended the human rights dialogue it began with Iran in 2018 due to the crackdown on protesters. “Violence against women, girls or any other members of Iranian society to prevent their exercise of universal human rights is unacceptable and must end. This is clearly a difficult time for the people of Iran,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.


Garrett Nada, managing editor of The Iran Primer, assembled this report. Connor Bradbury, a senior program assistant at the U.S. Institute of Peace, contributed to the timeline.  



Some of the information in this article was originally published on September 19, 2022.