Iran protests

Hundreds demonstrate in Iran’s Zahedan weeks after ‘Bloody Friday’

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Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, three weeks after dozens were killed in “Bloody Friday” protests, online videos showed.

“Death to the dictator,” the protesters, mostly young men, chanted Friday in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei outside a police station, in footage widely shared on social media.

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Iranian security forces killed at least 93 people who had gathered at the same location on September 30, Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights said.

Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province, is one of the few Sunni-majority cities in predominantly Shia Iran.

“Death to Khamenei” and “Unity, unity,” the protesters shouted after Friday prayers in a video shared by Radio Farda, a US-funded Persian station.

The slogans echoed those chanted in nationwide protests over Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman of Kurdish origin who died in custody on September 16.

Amini, 22, died three days after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran by the morality police for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women.

Two weeks later, violence erupted in Zahedan during protests that were triggered by anger over the reported rape of a teenage girl by a police commander in the region.

Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups.

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