Iran fails to suppress 40th day protests as government buildings are attacked | World News

Forty days of protests in Iran passed on Wednesday, with protesters making it clear that their demand for change remains as strong as ever.

Tensions continued into Thursday, with anger over the death of at least one protester leading to attacks on official buildings.

In Mahabad, the death of Ismaeil Mauludi, 35, caused chaos as protesters tried to break into government offices. Norway-based human rights group Hengaw said he was killed by security forces during Wednesday’s protest.

Protesters can be seen breaking through perimeter fences before dispersing in a hailstorm in this footage shared by Hengaw.

While city offices have been targeted before during these protests, it is rare to see protests escalated in this way on video.

It follows mass protests across the country on Wednesday.

The Kurdish city of Saqqez has seen people take to the streets early on.

It was the hometown and now the resting place of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman whose death sparked the unrest that has swept the country.

Huge crowds came to Mahsa’s grave to mark 40 days since her death, an important milestone for Iranians as it marks the end of the traditional period of mourning.

Iranian forces have tried to prevent people from gathering at her grave, but related state news reports deny that a large security presence has been assembled in the area.

However, videos posted to social media suggest otherwise.

The beginning of the clip shows at least seven police officers wearing protective gear and carrying riot shields.

It appears to have been filmed at the western end of Madar Blvd, which is adjacent to one of the main roads leading to the cemetery in Aichi, where many protesters were located.

A larger group in uniform appears to be gathering at the junction, but the video is cut before we can get a clear view.

Other images shared online showed security forces gathered at Mydane Dayk Square, at the other end of Madar Avenue, the night before.

Despite their efforts, thousands of Iranians arrived.

Iran-backed media reports said 8,000 people marched to the cemetery. Figures provided by anti-government sources are much higher, saying about 35,000 men and women from neighboring towns and cities attended.

Ground reporting in Iran is difficult, but an online tool can provide an indication of how many people have traveled on the 2.85-mile main road from Saqqez to the cemetery.

The protesters came from all over Saqqez as well as other local towns and cities.  Many people walked along the 2.85-mile road from the edge of the city to the cemetery.  Photo: Google Maps
The protesters came from all over Saqqez as well as other local towns and cities. Many people walked along the 2.85-mile road from the edge of the city to the cemetery. Photo: Google Maps

A video shot from a bridge roughly halfway between the entrance to the city of Saqqez and the cemetery provides a 360-degree view of the crowd.

We created a panorama by stitching together stills from the video to give us an image. This helps to establish a quick view of the crowds on either side of the bridge as they walk back to the city. It shows about 825 meters of road.

Using this image, we were able to identify several key markers, such as a row of pylons along a trench in the ground and where the road curves around a grassy bank.

We then plot these key markers onto a map provided by, a tool that provides crowd size estimates.

The people in this snapshot are close together but not side by side. There are also gaps and some cars. Using the guidance provided by the website, we estimate that the crowd is standing 1.7 people per square meter. estimates that the crowd visible in the snapshot is 14,535 people.

The dark yellow area shows where the crowd gathers in the video.  Pic:
The dark yellow area shows where the crowd gathers in the video. Pic:

Since we cannot see beyond what is captured in the video, it is possible that the actual number of protesters is much higher.

The protest at the funeral appeared to be calm, but tensions increased as the march returned to the city.

A video recorded Wednesday afternoon shows the scene at Mydane Dayk Square.

Smoke rose from a police shelter that appeared to have been burned by protesters.

Another fire can be seen burning in the square itself, while protesters still watch.

It is not clear exactly what is happening in this video as it is difficult to identify who the different groups are. However, at least once the sound of weapons being fired can be heard, which indicates that security forces are present.

Another clip posted online shows chaos on the ground in Mydane Dayk Square.

Protests on the 40th took place across the country, including the capitals Tehran, Sanandaj, Gorgan and Isfahan.

The Data and Forensics the team is a multi-skill unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We collect, analyze and visualize data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite imagery, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling, we aim to better explain the world and show how our journalism is done.


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