The nationwide protests in Iran have become angrier and more bitter as people held mourning ceremonies for children killed by government forces in the past few days.
The unrest went into the third month on Friday following three days of protest in honor of hundreds killed by the government in a similar uprising in November 2019. But protesters are now angrier and more determined as government forces have killed several children and young adults this week.
According to human rights groups, security forces had killed more than 40 children until this week when more lost their lives. Some took part in the protests, but many simply happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, when riot police or government vigilantes opened fire.
Protests became more widespread and fierce since Tuesday as these deaths heightened the degree of anger felt against the government.
People in the capital Tehran held protests in several neighborhoods with people chanting slogans against the government while many streets were in control of the protesters. The grassroot group, identified as the youth of the neighborhoods of Tehran, has also called for protests for the next three days.
Kian Pirfalak, a nine-year-old boy who was killed in the city of Izeh in Khuzestan province on Wednesday, became the latest icon of the protests. In addition to his hometown, people in many other cities held gatherings in his memory, holding placards that bore his name or a phrase that he used in a video that went viral after his death. He started the video, apparently an innocent school science project, in the name of “the God of rainbow” and went on testing a boat made up of ice-cream sticks.
The shame and political cost of killing a nine-year-old is so deep that even the Islamic Republic tries to deny that their plainclothes agent killed Kian and claims that “terrorists” were responsible. Kian’s mother, Zeinab Molairad, however, boldly contradicted the government’s account stating that security forces were the ones who opened fire at their car when they were near a spot where people were protesting. His father was also injured and unconfirmed reports say that he has died of injuries in the hospital.
The uprising of the Iranian people was triggered by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. On her epitaph, it was written that her name would become the codename of the protests, and it did. Mahsa Amini is now the most tweeted hashtag in the history of online media.
The current wave of protests is creating symbols, icons, songs and artworks as it is going on, putting the Islamic Republic in a crucible that seems more and more daunting with everyone they kill to quash the unrest.
Iranians have been holding daily protests for at least two months but the protests were mainly in big cities. In recent days small towns have also become scenes of protests as mourning ceremonies for fellow residents happen to morph into protest rallies while security forces resort to every trick they know to prevent people from holding demonstrations.
People in Semirom in Esfahan province, Bukan and Mahabad in West Azarbaijan province, Qazvin, and Tabriz in East Azarbaijan province held huge gatherings as they were burying young protesters who were killed by forces dispatched to suppress their protests.
Kamyaran, Qorveh and Bijar in Kordestan province, Paveh in Kermanshah, Arak and Khomein in Markazi, Ardabil and Ilam, Babol in Mazandaran, Khoy in West Azarbaijan, Bandar-e Deyr in Bushehr province, Parsian County in Hormozgan, and Tuyserkan in Hamedan were among cities and towns that were scenes of rallies and clashes on Friday.
Moreover, Friday was an action-packed day in southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan where many cities and towns were scenes of large antigovernment protests.