The Iranian government has once again demonstrated its power with strict security precautions around the anniversary of the death of protest icon Jina Mahsa Amini.

Iran’s security agencies arrested more than 260 people, according to a report. The arrests were made within the past 24 hours, the Shargh newspaper reported. The security authorities justified the arrests with, among other things, violations of public safety, incitement to protests or possession of weapons.

Amini’s father was temporarily detained and interrogated in her hometown of Saghes on Saturday, several Kurdish human rights groups reported. In Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and other German cities, thousands of people showed their solidarity.

Amini’s death sparked serious protests

This Saturday marked the first anniversary of Amini’s death, which triggered the worst protests in Iran in decades in autumn 2022. Islamic moral watchdogs arrested the then 22-year-old because she was allegedly wearing a headscarf incorrectly. What exactly happened afterwards remains unclear to this day – the young woman ultimately fell into a coma and died in a hospital. Thousands of people flocked to Amini’s funeral. Starting in the Kurdish regions, the protests spread like wildfire.

As a result, the young generation in particular took to the streets against the repressive policies of the Islamic leadership under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”. The state authorities violently suppressed the protests that had kept the country in suspense for months. At the behest of the Iranian judiciary, seven men were executed in connection with the demonstrations. As a sign of silent protest, many women still ignore the obligation to wear a headscarf.

Solidarity rallies in Germany and Europe

In Germany there were various demonstrations in several cities to mark the anniversary. In Hamburg, the situation center estimated that around 2,500 people took part in demonstrations. There were isolated traffic disruptions. In Berlin there were actions at, among other places, the Großer Stern and in front of the Reichstag building. Several hundred demonstrators took to the streets in Frankfurt. There was also a protest march in Brussels.

Iran’s Kurdish regions in a state of emergency – numerous arrests

Amini’s hometown of Saghes was sealed off before the anniversary of her death. There were initially no calls for protests for fear of renewed violent action by the security forces. People in the Kurdish areas still wanted to mark the anniversary of his death, for example by closing shops. Iran’s secret service arrested several residents in the Kurdish areas, according to a report by Tasnim news agency. There was also a tense atmosphere in other cities with street checks.

Well-informed circles in the Kurdish areas said that Amini’s family had been effectively under house arrest for weeks. On the day of his daughter’s death, her father was finally allowed to go to the grave accompanied by security forces to say a funeral prayer. Some residents of the region saw the massive deployment of military and security forces and all the precautions for a show of force as a sign of the weakness of the Iranian government.

Popular actress Hanieh Tavassoli was briefly detained over the weekend, Iranian media reported, citing her sister. Meanwhile, Tavassoli’s Instagram presence with her two million followers could not be reached. The 44-year-old was released on bail. During the wave of protests in autumn 2022, several actresses who had shown solidarity with the movement found themselves in the crosshairs of the judiciary.

In southern Iran, unknown attackers killed a member of the notorious Basij forces, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday. Three other men were wounded. The militia plays a central role in suppressing protests in the country. The unit is part of the Revolutionary Guard and is said to have several hundred thousand supporters loyal to the system.

Baerbock sets an example – Scholz with a protest slogan

Meanwhile, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock promised the people of Iran further support against oppression. “We are putting the fate of the people in Iran on the agenda in Brussels, New York and Geneva,” explained the Green Party politician, who is currently in the USA. There on Friday (local time) she met the daughter of the German-Iranian Djamshid Sharmahd, who was sentenced to death in Iran on terror charges. He is one of several Germans imprisoned in Iran. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wrote in an X-post with the hashtag