London: Iran on Wednesday saw one of the biggest nights of protests since anti-government demonstrations erupted six weeks ago, media reported.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in all major cities, including the capital Tehran.
BBC Persian has confirmed that there were protests in at least 30 cities. The largest was in the city of Saqqez, the birth place of Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of morality police 40 days ago.
Other cities, such as Andimeshk and Borujerd in the west, and Lahijan, near the Caspian Sea in the north, also saw a resurgence of protests.
“The society is very angry. We had enough of them (Iranian leadership),” a 27-year-old protester who lives close to Tehran told BBC Persian.
“I want to have the right to say no to these people. I’m tired of being a second-class citizen because I am a woman. Men are tired of the intimidation by the regime. This is the first time in the history of our country that we stand together for a goal which is woman, life and freedom.”
In the capital Tehran, fires were lit in the street, while hundreds marched down a main road chanting slogans including “Death to the dictator!”, a reference to Iran’s supreme leader and which has become a common refrain.
Wednesday’s protests were among the largest to take place in Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini.
As the 40th day following an individual’s death is a religiously and culturally significant moment of respect for the deceased in Iran, calls had already gained momentum on social media to mark the day with protests in memory of Amini, BBC reported.
Thousands gathered at a cemetery in Amini’s hometown, chanting against the ruling establishment before clashing with security forces on their way back. Angry protests took place at multiple locations across the capital Tehran, as police were seen firing tear gas.
“Death to the dictator,” men and women chanted in videos published by multiple social media outlets. Twirling their headscarves, women showed their defiance of the mandatory hijab rules, in a gesture that has been a recurring motif of the protests.
Many students, who have been at the front line during the recent protests, took part in campus rallies in over a dozen cities. Many chanted against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and faced off government loyalists, BBC reported.