October 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran Arrests Hundreds on Bloody Friday Anniversary as Protests Grow

October 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran Arrests Hundreds on Bloody Friday Anniversary as Protests Grow

Latest Developments

Iran’s clerical regime arrested hundreds of protestors over the weekend, punctuating the first anniversary of the regime’s violent suppression of the current, nationwide uprising. Hal Vash, a watchdog human rights organization monitoring Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan Province, reported on October 2 that Iranian authorities have arrested 216 people, including minors, since the September 30 crackdown in the provincial capital of Zahedan. Security forces clashed with protesters who flooded the streets  to commemorate the events of September 30, 2022 — known as “Bloody Friday” — when regime forces killed dozens of people protesting the rape of a Baluch girl by a police commander.

Expert Analysis

“The monthly data show a consistent month-to-month growth in protest-related events since June 2023. At the daily level, we saw the highest number of protest-related events since November 2022. What we see is the resurgence of the revolutionary movement. Another surge in the number of protest-related events in the coming months is likely to happen.” — Saeed Ghasseminejad, FDD Senior Iran and Financial Economics Advisor

“Iran’s protests may have largely faded from Western headlines, but they persist across the country. As Iranians mark the first anniversary of the uprising, the United States needs to express robust support for demonstrators, not provide the regime with billions of dollars in sanctions relief.” — Tzvi Kahn, FDD Research Fellow and Senior Editor

Brutal Crackdown

Iranians have continued demonstrating since the September 2022 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. According to FDD tracking data, there were 465 protests in September 2023, the most since November 2022, when there were 749 protests. To date, Iranians have conducted 4,816 protests over the past year, while Tehran has arrested 22,794 demonstrators and killed 638, including 79 minors. According to the Oslo-based nonprofit Iran Human Rights, Iran has executed seven people on protest-related charges, with 10 more being sentenced to death and 82 facing charges including the death penalty.

Violation of Rights

Iran’s regime has targeted journalists and human rights activists, especially women. On October 2, authorities arrested Iranian journalist Maryam Lotfi after she visited the Fajr Hospital to report on a girl who passed out on the subway under suspicious conditions. The regime has arrested more than 90 journalists since the start of protests, including the two female journalists who were the first to publicize Amini’s death. In August, the regime arrested 12 human rights activists, all but one of whom were women, accusing them, without evidence, of planning to incite “chaos and vandalism” and of being funded by Western security services and Israel.

Mapping Protests in Iran,” by Mark Dubowitz

Iran’s Uprising Nears First Anniversary as Protests Persist,” FDD Flash Brief

Protests Across Iran Persist, Now Nine Months On,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Human Rights