Iran police fire on mourners for female protester

Iranian security forces opened fire on crowds near Tehran marking the 40th day of mourning for a woman who was shot dead while protesting, witnesses have said.

Authorities shut a cemetery and blocked roads to stop people from reaching the grave of Hadis Najafi, who has become a symbol of the unrest engulfing Iran.

Videos showed thousands walking along a highway to reach the cemetery in Karaj and shouting anti-government slogans. Security personnel responded by firing shotguns, witnesses told the BBC.

“They (security forces) were firing birdshot at people,” said one person living in an area where there were clashes. “They stabbed a protester with a machete after he fell to the ground, already hit with birdshot.”

Another witness told the BBC that a bullet fired by security forces had hit the window of their neighbour’s home.

“People are chanting ‘death to the dictator’ on the main street. They have fired tear gas. It has spread into the neighbourhood. My throat is burning.”

They added: “I tried to record a video from the window, but they are firing shots… I am scared. We have closed the curtains.”

BBC Persian also obtained a video showing security forces opening fire on a street and another from near the cemetery in which a gunshots could be heard.The hard-liner Tasnim news agency said a member of the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force had been stabbed to death by “rioters”.

The agency also said that three police officers had been seriously injured in an alleged armed attack and posted a video it said showed the aftermath.However, the report was rejected by opposition activist collective 1500tasvir, which had posted the original video.

It said the officers had fired on protesters and that they had then chased them and thrown stones at their pick-up trucks. It posted other videos showing people throwing stones at the officers through the vehicle’s broken windows.

Hadis Najafi, a 22-year-old TikToker, recorded a video on her phone as she walked to a demonstration in Karaj, a city that is about 10km (6 miles) west of Tehran, on September21. -BBC

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