In Brief: Iran tensions mount as students defy regime crackdown

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

Iranian students have been protesting this week at multiple universities, defying a violent crackdown by the regime.

The protests came as part of a bloody crackdown while tensions mount ahead of the 40 day anniversary of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death in the custody of the regime’s ‘morality police’ last month.

“A student may die but we will not accept humiliation”, the students chanted at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, in southwestern Iran, in an online video.

Young women and schoolgirls have been at the forefront of the protests in the past month.

Wednesday this wek marks 40 days since Amini’s death, and thus also the end of the traditional mourning period in Iran.

State news agency IRNA published a statement apparently from the family, saying that “considering the circumstances and in order to avoid any unfortunate problem, we will not hold a ceremony marking the 40th day”.

Activists said the statement was made under pressure and that tributes were nonetheless expected at Amini’s grave.

Other videos showed students protesting at Beheshti University and the Khaje Nasir Toosi University, both in Tehran.

The latest wave of student protests came after security forces reportedly beat schoolgirls at a girl’s school in Tehran on Monday.