Ahead of the first anniversary of protest icon Jina Mahsa Amini’s death, Iran’s security apparatus has deployed additional forces to her Kurdish hometown.

Police and security units were stationed on the outskirts of the town of Saghes, eyewitnesses reported. Saturday marks the first anniversary of the death of the Iranian Kurd, which triggered the most serious protests in decades in Iran in autumn 2022.

Atmosphere “like fire among the ashes”

According to eyewitnesses, the situation in Saghes was tense. Residents spoke of an atmosphere “like fire among the ashes.” The situation was also tense in the neighboring towns.

Amini was violently arrested by the notorious moral watchdogs in mid-September 2022 for allegedly not wearing a headscarf properly. The young woman fell into a coma and died in a hospital. Thousands of people flocked to her funeral.

Starting in the Kurdish regions, the protests spread like wildfire. They were initially directed against the compulsory headscarf as part of a women’s movement, then against the entire Islamic system.