Thousands of Iranians were among an estimated 80,000 people who joined in a rally Saturday in Berlin, the largest of several protests in cities around the world showing solidarity with women-led protests in Iran.
Iranians traveled to Berlin for the protests and were in other demonstrations in Sweden, Italy, France, Switzerland and other European cities, photos show. Protests were also reported in London and Finland.
An Iranian who lives in the Netherlands and traveled to Berlin to participate in the rally sent a photo to Voice of America.
Music played, including the song “For Freedom,” which has become a symbol of the nationwide protests of Iranians. And various groups chanted together “Death to the Islamic Republic.”
“Today, thousands of people are showing their solidarity with courageous women and demonstrators in Iran,” tweeted Germany’s Green Party minister for family affairs, Lisa Paus. “We are by your side,” she noted.
‘Women, Life, Freedom’
At a rally in New Zealand, Iranians held Iran’s lion and sun flag and chanted the slogan “women of freedom.”
In Brisbane, Australia, Iranians held a demonstration despite the rain.
At the Berlin rally, called by a women’s collective, some marchers brandished slogans such as “Women, Life, Freedom” and some waved Kurdish flags.
“From Zahedan to Tehran, I sacrifice my life for Iran,” human rights activist Fariba Balouch said after giving a speech at the Berlin gathering, referring to Iranian cities swept up in the protests. The crowd responded with “Death to Khamenei,” referring to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Anti-government activists said the Berlin march was the largest ever demonstration against the Islamic Republic by Iranians abroad.
“I feel very good, because we are here to [say] ‘We are with you, with all Iranian people.’ I am Mahsa Amini’s voice,” said a protester who gave her name as Maru.
Participants peacefully made their way toward the city center in radiant autumnal sunshine, as police followed their progress from helicopters.
Protests around Iran
Iran has seen six weeks of growing women-led protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. She was arrested in mid-September by Iran’s morality police and died in their custody three days later. Amini, 22, was arrested for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women.
In Iran Saturday, protests were reported in Tehran, where protesters chanted “Death to the dictator” around Tehran’s bazaar, among several cities, and shopkeepers and factory workers went on strike as citizens continue to react angrily to Amini’s death.
Protests also were reported in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, and Mashhad.
In Mashhad, Iran’s second-most populous city, protesters reportedly chanted, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together” as drivers honked their horns in support.
The protests are the biggest seen in the Islamic republic for years, harking back to 2019 rallies sparked by rocketing fuel prices.
The published images from the cities of Sanandaj, Saqqez and Marivan in Kurdistan province, as well as Bukan in the West Azerbaijan province, depict the general strike of workers.
Young women have led the charge, removing their headscarves, chanting anti-government slogans and confronting the security forces.
The Oslo-based, Iran Human Rights group says at least 122 people — including some children — have died in the unrest.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.