Iranian authorities detained the father of Mahsa Amini on the one-year anniversary of her death Saturday, Iranian journalists and rights groups have said.
Amini was killed in the custody of the morality police on September 16, 2022, after being arrested for allegedly failing to wear her headscarf properly. Her death triggered protests throughout Iran.
Iranian journalist and founder of activist outlet “IranWire” Maziar Bahari told CNN Amini’s father, Amjad, has been regularly summoned by security officers in the months following his daughter’s death.
“Today he was detained for a few hours,” Bahari told CNN.
Amini’s family had visited her grave in the western Kurdish city of Saqqez on Friday, the eve of the one-year anniversary of her death, IranWire reported Saturday.
Helicopters were seen hovering over the Aichi cemetery with numerous military personnel and police officers also stationed throughout the area, IranWire added.
The next day, Amjad was detained by authorities for three to four hours with his son, who was warned he would be banished to a remote village if he encouraged people to attend ceremonies marking the anniversary of Amini’s death, Bahari told CNN.
Iranian authorities strongly denied reports of Amjad’s detention on Saturday with state media news outlet IRNA describing the reports as “false” in a post on Telegram.
This comes after Amini’s uncle, Safa Aeli who resides in Saqqez, was also arrested by authorities on Tuesday, according to a member of the family and reports from the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
People participated in protests throughout Iran on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of Amini’s death as authorities deployed armed guards in many cities as a show of force, prompting heavy security presence.
Video obtained by CNN showed demonstrations throughout multiple Iranian cities including its capital, Tehran, as well as Mashad, Ahvaz, Lahijan, Arak and the Kurdish city of Senandaj.
Many protesters were seen chanting “Women, Life, Freedom” – a popular rallying cry used after nationwide protests began following Amini’s death last year – while some protesters also chanted death slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
At least 13 Kurdish cities in the province where Amini hails from have gone on strike, Kurdish rights group Hengaw said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Amini’s death last September sparked the largest protests Iran had witnessed in years, morphing into a larger social movement with demonstrators protesting the regime’s treatment of women among other issues.
An ensuing crackdown by Iran’s security forces saw hundreds killed and thousands arrested.
The UN said in November last year more than 300 people were killed in the protests, including more than 40 children. US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency in January placed the number at more than 500, including 70 children.
Thousands more were arrested during the months of nationwide protest, the UN said in a report in June, citing research released last year by their Human Rights Committee.
Iran executed seven protesters for their involvement in the unrest, according to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.