At least 458 dead, including 63 children, 10,000 injured and 19,000 arrests and 11 death sentences, in demonstrations in Kurdistan and Iran

Wednesday, 7 December, 2022 , 19:00

The death in custody on 16 September of Jina (Mahsa) AMINI, a young Kurdish woman from the city of Saqqez, continues to spark waves of indignation and protests throughout Iran and the world.

The demonstrations are particularly massive and deadly in Iranian Kurdistan where for more than 80 days tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators have taken to the streets to shouts of "Down with the dictator (Khamenei), Down with the Islamic Republic!  No to the Islamic veil."  Women burn their Islamic veils in public, launching the Kurdish feminist slogan "Jin, Jiyan, Azadi" (Woman, Life, Freedom). Iran's repressive forces, including the Revolutionary Guards, intervene with extreme brutality against peaceful protesters, firing live ammunition at civilians.

The toll of the crackdown is rising day by day throughout Iran.

The Oslo-based and generally well-informed NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) stated on 7 December that at least 458 civilians, including 63 children, had been killed by Iranian repressive forces in 26 Iranian provinces, including 37 in Mazandaran, 25 in Gilan, 128 in Sistan-Baluchistan, 46 in Tehran, 133 in four Kurdish provinces. 11 arrested protesters were sentenced to death after speedy trials. For its part, the NGO HENGAW, which is well established in Kurdistan, published on 7 December an updated list of 122 victims in Kurdistan; including 106 civilians shot dead by live ammunition. Among them were 16 civilians killed during demonstrations marking the 40th day of Jîna AMINI's death. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the names of Kurdish civilians killed during the protests by Iranian repressive forces:


Sanandaj (17 death)


Bukan (17 death):


Mahabad (15 death)


Kermanshah (8 death)


Javanrud (7 death)

Piranshahr (7 death)

Oshnovieh (5 death)

Urmia (5 death)

Islamabad-e Gharb  (4 death)

Divandareh (4 death)

Saqqez (4 death)

Baneh (4 death)

Sonqor (3 death)

Mariwan (3 death)

Kamiyaran  (3 death)


Quchan (2 death)


Ilam (2 death)

Kangavar (2 death)

  • Erfan Khazaei 
  • Ehsan Ghasemifar

Dehgolan (2 death)

  • Reza Lotfi 
  • Mohsen Niazi

Salas Babajani (1 death)

  • Arin Moridi

Qorveh (1 death)

  • Nagin Abdul Maliki

Qasr-e-Shirin (1 death)

  • Saman Mohammadi

Sahneh (1 death)


Live ammunition was regularly used during demonstrations from 8 to 10 October and 26 to 30 October in Sanandaj, Saqqez, Marivan, Bokan, Baneh, Kermanshah, Mahabad, outraged by the cruelty of the repression the demonstrators set fire to public buildings and police stations. Images of these war scenes are circulating on social networks.

There are also more than 8,000 wounded, some of them serious, in the demonstrations taking place in the main cities of Iranian Kurdistan: Saqqez, birthplace of Jina AMINI, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Bokan, Mahabad, Baneh, Urmia, Kamyaran, Diwandara, Ilam, Naghadeh, Piranshahr, Maku, Bijar, Dehgolan, Marivan, Shino (Oshnovieh).

Violence increased tenfold during the demonstrations marking the 40th day of his death, which left 16 dead. On 5 November, the funeral under heavy surveillance of Nasrin Qaderi, a 35-year-old Kurdish doctoral student killed in Tehran, gave rise to massive demonstrations in her hometown of Marivan, where all shopkeepers lowered their curtains.

At the call of the coordination of Iranian Kurdish political parties, a general strike was massively followed on 17 and 18 September throughout Kurdistan on the day of the funeral. Strike also followed at the end of October in most Kurdish cities. A general strike was also observed in Marivan on 5 November during the funeral of Nasrin Qaderi. Since December 5, a general strike has been massively followed in Kurdistan and in many cities in Iran.

In an interview with the Iraqi Kurdish news channel RUDAW, the victim's father, Amjad AMINI, said that his daughter was in good health, without any medical precedent, and that she had received fatal blows to the head during her arrest and custody by the morality police for "improper wearing of the veil" because her hijab did not cover all her abundant hair. He added that he said this to Iranian President Raisi who had called him to offer his condolences. Her request for an autopsy was not accepted by the authorities, who published a "medical report" on 7 October stating that Jina Amini had died as a result of a "cessation of oxygenation of the brain" and therefore of illness. The father of the victim rejected this version the same day in an interview with the BBC in Persian recalling the flow of blood from the ears and neck of his daughter following blows on the head.

Since September 20, there has been an extension of these demonstrations in Isfahan, Tabriz, the provinces of Caspian, Mazandaran and Gilan, Khurasan, Baluchistan and about thirty other Iranian cities. Due to the regime's cutting off of access to social networks, particularly in Kurdistan and since 21 September in Tehran and other boiling cities, information on these demonstrations and especially images are becoming very difficult to obtain.

The Iranian regime engages in a ferocious repression behind closed doors and mobilizes in addition to the Revolutionary Guards its multiple militias and auxiliaries in this repression against demonstrators described as foreign agents and counter-revolutionaries. In an October 3 address to the Military Academy, Ayatollah Khamenei called on the security forces to firmly suppress "these disturbances fomented by the Americans and the Zionist regime."

The emotion of international political opinion outraged by the murder of a 22-year-old woman "guilty" of the "improper wearing" of the Islamic veil has provoked reactions of condemnation from the European Union, Germany, Canada, France, the United States and other Western countries. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an independent investigation into the murder, a request that is likely to go unheeded. US President Joe Biden paid tribute to the courage of Iranian women at the UN. The EU and Washington have adopted symbolic sanctions against morality police officials and other officials of Iran's repressive apparatus.

On 27 September, the Revolutionary Guards launched a major attack on the headquarters of Iranian Kurdish political parties taking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. About 70 precision missiles and many suicide drones were used in the massive attack that killed 18 people, including a pregnant woman, a newborn baby and civilians. A primary school and many civilian homes were destroyed.

This aggression, which unrestrainedly violates Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, has been strongly condemned by Baghdad and by the Kurdistan Regional Government, which deplores the destruction caused in the town of Koya and in many border villages, causing the displacement of more than 500 civilians. The US, France, EU and several Arab countries condemned the deadly attack by Iranian forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. At the call of the Iranian Kurdish parties, a general strike was massively followed on 1 October throughout Iranian Kurdistan. Many universities, including Tehran's Sharifi University of Technology, which trains the country's scientific elite, joined the strike. The protest is now spreading to high schools and schools where portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini and Khamanei are burned

Abroad, from Chile to Italy, from Norway to Australia, in a hundred countries Iranians and their friends demonstrated to express their solidarity with the struggle of Kurdish and Iranian women. In Paris, for example, several thousand people, including representatives of French political parties and trade unions, marched from the Republic to the Nation on Sunday 2 October, chanting the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom". Other demonstrations took place everywhere, including in Paris on 8 and 9 October. These demonstrations are set to continue.

On 5 October, a Swedish MEP cut her hair in a sitting as a sign of solidarity. Gesture of solidarity taken up the same day by several French actresses including Sophie Marceau, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard. On October 6, in a press conference, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, expressed her city's solidarity with Iranian women in struggle and cut off a lock of her hair in front of journalists. The façade of the town hall was decorated with a portrait of Jina Mahsa Amini who was made an honorary citizen of Paris, posthumously during the Council of October 11 where Mrs. Hidalgo paid a vibrant tribute.

  YouTube Video Speaking on behalf of the municipal majority Paris en commun, Ms Geneviève Garrigos, Deputy Mayor, spoke of her Kurdish identity and praised the fight of Kurdish and Iranian women for freedom

The wearing of the Islamic veil by women was imposed by the Islamic Republic as soon as it came to school in 1979. However, the application of this obligation has been more or less strict according to the zeitgeist. Since the election of the ultra-conservative Raisi to the presidency, the morality police have been considerably strengthened and the repression has become even more severe. Also, according to the chief of police of Kermanshah, Ali Akbar Javidan, quoted by the Iranian agency HRANA on August 13, there are no less than 26 public checkpoints of the morality police and 6 others operating under various covers in this large Kurdish city. The chief policeman proudly announces that since the beginning of spring 1700 women have been arrested by the morality police for "violation of the compulsory wearing of the veil".


Kurdish women, traditionally secular and enjoying greater freedom compared to their sisters in most Muslim societies, are very resistant to wearing the veil. They are very involved in the political, associative and social movements of Kurdistan. They pay a high price for defending their rights in this repressive republic.

There are about 12 million Kurds in Iran divided between the provinces (ostan) of Kurdistan (capital Sanandaj), Kermanshah, Ilam and West Azerbaijan where the countryside is overwhelmingly Kurdish but some cities (Urmia, Naghadeh) have mixed Kurdish and Azeri populations. There are also nearly 2 million Kurds in the eastern province of Khurasan, north of Mashhad, where their ancestors had been deported by Nadir Shah (17th century) to defend the marches of the Iranian empire against Turko-Mongol invasions. They have retained their language and culture.


The Kurds have been resisting the Islamic Republic since 1979 and are fighting for a democratic, secular and federal Iran that recognizes on an equal footing the various peoples (Arab, Azeri, Baluch, Kurdish, Persian, Turkmen) that make up Iran.

The Kurdish political parties, some of which (KDPI, Komala) continue armed resistance to the regime, are all of secular tradition.