The determination and resilience of the thousands in Iran who joined anti-government protests after the killing of Jîna (Mahsa) Amini have taken the country’s theocratic rulers by surprise and inspired people around the world.
Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, was arrested by Iran’s notorious morality police on 13 September for an alleged breach of the country’s strict mandatory dress code for women. Three days later she died in hospital from injuries that her family says she sustained when the police beat her during her arrest.
But Amini’s name has lived on and spread around the world as protests continue across Iran, where thousands have come out night after night, uncowed by violent police interventions, under the Kurdish slogan “jin, jîyan, azadî” – woman, life, freedom.
Here is what to know about events which have snowballed into the greatest threat to the rule of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his Islamist government:
16 September – Amini dies in hospital. The government claims she died due to underlying health conditions; her family refutes this, pointing to her injuries, and witnesses come forward saying they saw morality police beating the 22-year-old.
18 September – At least 38 people are injured and 13 people arrested after joining protests under the slogan “death to the dictator” in Sanandaj (Sine) and Saqqez (Seqiz).
19 September – Mobile networks MCI and Rightel have been “largely shut down”. Irancell still provides limited service.
20 September – Anti-government protests spread across 16 of 31 provinces in Iran. Medical reports prove that Amini died as a result of heavy blows to the head. The protests gain an international dimension as the United Nations condemns Amini’s murder, and 20 women are detained at a demonstration in Istanbul.
21 September – At least four people are killed and 10 injured after police open fire on the thousands of protesters in Diwander. Hadis Najafi, a young woman TikToker who became one of the symbols of the protests, is shot six times and killed by the Iranian police.
22 September – Protests spread to at least 50 cities. Iranian media states that at least 17 people had been killed to date, while the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights NGO counts at least 31 civilians dead. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi refrains from addressing the matter.
The international support
23 September – Many people participate in state-organised pro-government rallies to support the hijab in Tehran, chanting “Death to America”, and “Death to Israel”. Women from Afghanistan, Turkey, Sweden and many other countries support the protests.
24 September – The death toll in protests reportedly rises above 50 as demonstrations spread to 80 towns and cities across Iran. The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps shells Iranian-Kurdish opposition bases in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
25 September – Progressive groups in Australia and Malaysia gather to show their support for the ongoing protests in Iran. The number of arrests rises to 1,200, while Amnesty International estimates 52 protesters have been killed.
26 September – Students at the Tehran and Al-Zahra universities and the Sharif Institute boycott their classes, urging their professors to join. Iran shells opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan amidst the widespread protests against the government.
27 September – Iranian petrochemical workers, who operate a key sector of the country’s economy, warn the government to end the crackdown or they will strike. The authorities arrest Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of 1979 revolutionary pioneer Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
28 September – Demonstrations in New Mexico, New York, Buenos Aires, Athens and Ankara to support the Iranian protesters. Iranian ballistic missiles and drones kill five people and injure 18 in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Iran accuses KDP-I, PAK and Komala of fuelling the protests across the country.
29 September – Iran summons the French charge d’affaires in Tehran due to statements from Paris regarding the protests. The Taliban disperses women demonstrators gathered in front of the Iranian Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
30 September – The protests spread to 164 cities in all of Iran’s 31 provinces. An estimated 15,000 protesters have been arrested and detained, and at least 300 killed by security forces by this date. Nika Shakarami, 17, and Sarina Esmailzadeh, 16, were among the victims.
1 October – Protests break out against the murder of Amini in Italy, Greece and Canada under the “Woman, Life, Freedom” slogan. Large groups of women protesters take the streets in the Iranian cities of Bukan, Mahabad, Dehgolan, Sanandaj, Marivan and Kermanshah for the third consecutive week.
The first statement by Ali Khamanei since the beginning
3 October – Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei makes his first statement on the protests, blaming Iran and the United States for funding the protests and “traitorous” Iranians abroad for instigating them. The East Kurdistan Free Women Society (KJAR) launches a campaign, “Time to Defend the Women’s Revolution”, to support the ongoing protests.
4 October – High school girls join the anti-government protests in large numbers, as the country mourns Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old killed in the first days of protests.
8 October – Young women shout “death to the oppressor” as President Ebrahim Raisi poses for a group photograph with students at Tehran’s all-female Al-Zahra University to mark the new academic year. In Amini’s hometown, Saqqez (Seqiz), a city in the Kurdistan province, schoolgirls chant “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî” (“Woman, Life, Freedom”) and march down a street swinging their headscarves in the air. Iran’s main news channel is briefly hacked and interrupted with images and messages in support of the continuing protests.
9 October – Iranian schoolchildren are arrested on school premises by security forces arriving in unmarked vans. The authorities shut all schools and higher education institutions in Iranian Kurdistan. Security forces open fire with live ammunition on protesters in Sanandaj and Saqqez, with two protesters killed on Saturday. An estimated 18 minors have been killed in protests to date. The widely followed Twitter account 1500tasvir reports security forces opening fire at demonstrators in Sanandaj and Saqqez.
10 October – More than 1,000 petrochemical workers from a state-owned plant in the southern city of Asulyeh, Bushehr province, down tools and march under slogans of “death to the dictator”. The British government announced new sanctions against the entirety of the Iranian morality police.
11 October – Reports state that at least 185 people, including 19 minors, have been killed at the protests, as well as hundreds injured and thousands arrested. The government says more than 20 members of the security forces have been killed. Dozens of universities have joined on strike, with students playing a pivotal role in the protests. The European Union agrees on the technical aspects to impose sanctions on Tehran, which would come into force the following week. Reuters reports that the combination of mass protests and strikes by oil workers and bazaar merchants helped to propel the Shi’ite clergy to power in the Iranian revolution four decades ago.
To be updated.