Tehran fountains dyed red to protest crackdown

Tehran fountains dyed red to protest crackdown

Dozens killed and hundreds arrested in three weeks of rallies against excesses of morality police

An image made available on Twitter on Friday shows Fatemi Square in Tehran, with the water of its fountains coloured red in protest against a bloody crackdown on three weeks of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. (User-generated content via AFP)
An image made available on Twitter on Friday shows Fatemi Square in Tehran, with the water of its fountains coloured red in protest against a bloody crackdown on three weeks of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. (User-generated content via AFP)

Fountains in Tehran appeared to be pouring blood on Friday after an artist turned their waters red to reflect a deadly crackdown amid weeks of protests in Iran sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman’s death was announced on Sept 16 after her arrest in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Anger over her death has sparked the biggest wave of protests to rock Iran in almost three years and a crackdown that has resulted in scores of protesters being killed and hundreds arrested.

Despite the security forces’ use of lethal force in a bid to crush them, the protests have continued for 20 consecutive days and nights, according to online videos verified by AFP.

Images of the blood red fountains were shared online by the social media channel 1500tasvir that monitors violations in the Islamic republic.

The fountains shown are located in downtown Tehran — in Student Park, Fatemi Square and Artists’ Park.

Activists who took to Twitter described the red fountains as “works of art” titled “Tehran covered in blood”, adding that they were created by an anonymous artist.

The Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights says at least 92 protesters have been killed so far in the crackdown that has seen sweeping restrictions imposed on the internet, including blocks on Instagram and WhatsApp.

Iranian security forces have rounded up high profile supporters of the movement, including activists, journalists and pop stars.

Despite such measures, the demonstrations have continued in cities and towns across the Islamic republic.

“Death to the dictator,” a group of young women can be heard chanting in the northern city of Rasht in an video posted online Thursday and verified by AFP.

Other verified footage shows women shouting “Azadi”, Persian for freedom, and clapping loudly as they march down a street in the city of Qods, west of the capital.

Amnesty International has verified the deaths of 52 people killed by Iran’s security forces, but says it believes the “real death toll is far higher”.

In a statement issued a week ago, the London-based rights group said Iran was intentionally using lethal force to crush the women-led protests.

It said it had obtained a leaked document issued to armed forces commanders in all provinces on Sept 21 ordering them to “severely confront” protesters.

Another leaked document showed the commander in Mazandaran province told forces to “confront mercilessly, going as far as causing deaths, any unrest by rioters and anti-revolutionaries”.


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