WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of people rallied Saturday in Washington and tens of thousands in Berlin in a show of international support for protesters facing a violent government crackdown in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. , under the custody of the moral police of the country.
On the US National Mall, several hundred men and women of all ages, dressed in green, white and red, the colors of the Iranian flag, sang. “Be scared. Be scared. We are one in this,” some shouted, before the group marched toward the White House. “Say his name! Dough!”
The demonstrations, organized by grassroots organizers from across the United States, drew Iranians from around the Washington DC area, with some traveling from Toronto to join the crowd.
The Biden administration has said that it condemns the brutality and repression against the citizens of Iran and that it will seek ways to impose further sanctions against the Iranian government if the violence continues.
In Tehran, more anti-government protests took place at several universities on Saturday. The national movement in Iran first focused on the country’s mandatory hijab for women following Amiri’s death on September 16. Since then, the Iranian protests have morphed into the biggest challenge to the Islamic Republic since the 2009 Green Movement over disputed elections.
Iranian security forces have dispersed gatherings in that country with live ammunition and tear gas, killing more than 200 people, including teenagers, according to human rights groups.
In Berlin, about 40,000 people gathered it turned out to show solidarity with the women and activists who led the movement in recent weeks in Iran. The protests in the German capital, organized by the Woman(asterisk) Life Freedom Collective, began at the Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten park and continued as a march through central Berlin.
Some protesters said they had come from other parts of Germany and other European countries to show their support.
“It is very important for us to be here, to be the voice of the people of Iran, who are being killed in the streets,” said Shakib Lolo, who is from Iran but lives in the Netherlands. “And this is no longer a protest, it is a revolution in Iran. And the people of the world have to see it.”
Several weeks of Saturday solidarity rallies in the US capital have drawn ever-increasing crowds.
Follow AP coverage of Iran at: https://apnews.com/hub/iran