The state security forces have arrested dozens of civil society activists and dissidents amid the nationwide protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody.
In recent days, more than 80 Iranian cities have been the scene of mass protests.
Reports indicate a new round of crackdown against civil activists with security forces raiding their homes and making arrests.
Journalists, women’s rights activists, students, and former political prisoners are among those arrested in several cities across Iran.
Majid Tavakoli, an activist who has been imprisoned repeatedly in Iran in recent years, was arrested overnight at his home on Friday.
Political activists Ruhollah Nakhai, Zahra Tohidi, Hoda Tohidi, and Alireza Khoshbakht were arrested on Thursday.
Among women rights activists, Zhina Modares Karji in Sanandaj, Evin Rasti in Marivan, Leila Salehi in Bijar, and Mansoura Mousavi in Mashhad were arrested.
The arrests also include student activists, including Alireza Saberian, the secretary of the Islamic Association of Medical Sciences of Mashhad University, Bardiya Shakuri Fard, an economics student at Tehran University, Mehrdad Arandan, a student at the Faculty of Economics at Allameh Tabatabai University, Mohammad Nouri, a master’s student in economics at Tehran University, Mohammad Arab, Secretary of Islamic Culture and Civilization Association of Noshirvani University of Babol, Behrouz Shirbeigi, BA student of Sociology at Allameh Tabatabai University, and Farhad Shujahaidari, MA student of social work.
Mass protests, which have now spread to at least 86 Iranian cities, were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict rules on wearing the hijab.
She died while in police custody, suffering multiple blows to the head.
Iranian authorities claimed no wrongdoing and denied Aminy suffered blows to the head during her arrest saying it was a heart ailment that killed her, but her family disputes that claim.
Eyewitnesses say they saw Amini being beaten to death by Iran’s feared morality police.
At least 30 protesters have been killed during the state’s deadly crackdown on the protests so far. The real death toll may be higher as the Iranian authorities cut off or severely restricted internet access across the country.