The Guardian website reported on the leading role of women in anti-government rallies in Iran.
Protest rallies started on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in protest to the shootdown of the Ukrainian passenger aircraft by the IRGC.
The Guardian wrote in its report, “Iranian authorities fired live ammunition to disperse protesters in Tehran on Sunday night, wounding several people.”
Referring to the leading role of women, a witness told the Guardian that groups, many led by women, gathered in Tehran’s central Azadi Square on Sunday evening wearing masks and scarves to hide their identities, confronting riot police and officers in plain clothes.
Quoting Ronak, 35, a witness of the protests in Tehran, Guardian continued, “One of [the officers] with a white beard was filming regular people and smiling flagrantly while we were shouting in their faces,” Ronak, 35, said. “Thirty minutes later, the shooting of teargas started, and the crowd was shouting in between cries and coughs: ‘For so many years of crimes, down with this wilayat [Iran’s theocratic system of government].’”
She said the crowd rushed away from the teargas but continued chanting, and security forces started to fire “compact and hard black bullets”, a form of non-lethal ammunition. “[They fired] constantly, without stop,” she said.
“People were on the ground. One of the teargas canisters was fired near us. My friend was shot by paintball bullets in his head. For a few seconds I thought he had lost his eye, but the bullet hit his eyebrows. Blood was dripping from his eyebrows. His face was wet, and he was constantly coughing.”
The crowd dispersed after security forces began “shooting bullets that were aimed at heads”, she said.
“The crackdown was too intense, so our comrades dispersed,” she said.
Guarding quoted another female witness, who asked not to be identified and wrote, “They were firing teargas repeatedly. We couldn’t see anywhere, and we were screaming. We were getting blinded. Forces were firing teargas back to back. A young girl beside me was shot in the leg. It was terrible, terrible.”
According to Guardian, she provided a video from near Azadi Square showing bloodstains along the pavement, one of several similar videos being circulated by Iranian activists on Sunday evening and Monday morning. “It’s the blood of our people,” a woman said in one clip.
Another video purportedly from near Azadi Square shows several people appearing to be wounded on the ground including a woman lying on a bloodied pavement. “They shot her with a bullet,” a man says.