HRANA – Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman, was arrested by the morality police for the crime of improper hijab. Her arrest and death in detention fueled nationwide protests in Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. The following 486-page report is dedicated to the statistical review, analysis, and summary of the first eighty-two days of the ongoing protests (September 17 to December 7, 2022). In this report, in addition to the geographic analysis and the presentation of maps and charts, the identity of 481 deceased, including 68 children and teenagers, an estimated of 18,242 arrested along with the identity of 3,670 arrested citizens, 605 students and 61 journalists or activists in the field of information is compiled. In addition, the report includes a complete collection of 1988 verified video reports by date and topic. The report examines protests across 1115 documented gatherings in all 31 provinces of the country, including 160 cities and 143 universities.
Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, Kurdistan was visiting Tehran, when she was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, by the Morality Police officers at the Haqqani metro station in Tehran. The reason for her arrest: not properly observing the strict Islamic dress code. Mahsa/Zhina was taken to the infamous detention center of Moral Security Police known as Vozara.
Shortly after Mahsa’s arrest, she went into a coma with level three concussion, and her partially alive body was transferred to the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital. Given the track record of the police and Guidance Patrols in mistreating the arrestees and similar previous incidents, with the believe that Mahsa was beaten during the arrest people were outraged.
Unpersuasive explanations given by the Central Command of the Islamic Republic Police Force (FARAJA) in defense of its actions regarding the death of Mahsa, the past performance of the police force, along with widespread dissatisfaction with the existence of a body called the Moral Security Police, fueled widespread protests in Iran.
The widespread protests sparked at the time Mahsa Amini was announced dead in front of Kasra Hospital on Argentina Street in Tehran, and then quickly spread to the streets despite the intimidating presence of Iran’s security forces. The protests intensified after Mahsa’s burial in a Saqqez cemetery. To the extent that after eighty-two days of nationwide protests between September 17, 2022, to December 7, 2022, they have spread to Iran’s all 31 provinces, 160 cities, and 143 major universities.
The protests did not stay limited to Mahsa’s death, it rather, quickly targeted the Iranian government’s political and ideological foundations. These protests were violently quashed by the anti-riot police and Iran’s militia force (Basij). teargas, pellets, and live ammunition were used in the repression of protestors. This widespread crackdown has led to the death of dozens of people and the wounding of hundreds of protestors.
Despite sever communication restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic, this report attempts to give a clearer picture of the first 82 days of the protests between September 17, to December 7, 2022. It’s worth mentioning at the time of this report the protests are still ongoing in various forms.
The family of the detained student, Soha Motezaei, was summoned by the University authorities. She is a master’s student and the secretary of the Central Council of Tehran University Students who was arrested during recent protests in Iran. The University authorities threatened her family to give permission to Tehran University to transfer her from prison to a mental institute. They were constantly contacted to persuade them to accept this offer. Last week, Soha Mortezaei’s mother was summoned by a security organization and was threatened and interrogated.
She was arrested for the first time in January 2014, along with Zahra Khandan, Parastoo Toosi, and Fereshteh Biranvand who are student activists of Allameh Tabataba’i and Amirkabir Universities. They were released after two months of imprisonment. On September 17, 2018, she was sentenced to a six-year prison term and was banned from membership in groups for two years by the Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Ahmadzadeh. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should serve five years in prison.
On September 4, 2019, Soha Mortezaei has been barred from education. She was alarmed when she saw a notice for “documents missing” error on her profile. She had ranked 10th in the national entrance examination for the Ph.D. program. She was barred from education by the Ministry of Intelligence and the Security Department of Tehran University. Subsequently, she held a sit-in at the university campus in September. Her family was summoned to the University and were told that if she continues her strike, she will be arrested and subsequently will be sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment on top of her prior six years imprisonment sentence. Then, university authorities offered her family to transfer Soha Mortezaei to a mental institute where “she receives electric shock therapy, to stop her “
On November 17, 2019, she was called to the front door of Tehran University student dormitory and was arrested along with two other students. The arrests of these people were around the same time as the early days of November 2019’s protests.
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Graduate student in humanities and Secretary of Tehran University Central Student Union Soha Mortezaei– who was among those arrested amid the 2018 “January protests”– has been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and a two-year ban on membership in political parties, groups, and gatherings by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Ahmadzadeh.
Mortezaei’s name figured in HRANA’s January 6, 2018 report on citizens apprehended during the aforementioned protests, which gained countrywide momentum and were met with considerable violence form authorities. She was detained for her inquiries into the status and wellbeing of detained fellow students who had participated along with her in the demonstrations.
Mortezaei had a previous run-in with authorities, in a wave of arrests that took place in January of 2015. She was arrested along with Amirkabir and Allameh Tabatabai University student activists Zahra Khandan, Fershteh Tusi, and Parastou Biranvand. One month later, she was released.
The January Protests led to large number of arrests and interrogations across the country. While the protests began on December 29, 2017 in the city of Mashhad, the unrest quickly spread to other cities. Thousands were detained and at least 25 died in skirmishes between protesters and security forces.