Iranian Shopkeepers Begin 3-Day Strike Marking Brutal Killing of Hundreds

A strike by shopkeepers has started across Iran on Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of a brutal crackdown against those protesting fuel price rises, as anger against the Islamic republic's rulers continues to grow.

The call to commemorate the hundreds who were killed in the unrest that started on November 15, 2019 is expected to give new momentum to protests that have roiled Iran over the last 10 weeks.

Three years ago, a surprise fuel price hike sparked bloody street violence in which police stations were attacked, shops looted and banks and petrol stations torched.

Amnesty International said at least 304 people were killed although a tribunal convened in London this year by rights groups suggested the death toll was much higher.

Protester for Iran in Madrid
A protestor attends a rally in support of Iranian women on November 05, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. Protests in the Islamic republic have been ongoing since the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who had been arrested in September by the country's morality police. Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images

Khosro Kalbasi Isfahani, a journalist with BBC Monitoring, tweeted that in Tehran's Grand Bazaar, where shops were shuttered, people chanted "honorable business owners support us."

Isfahani noted that the site played a "key role" in the 1979 revolution.

Meanwhile, women waved headscarves on the street in the southern city of Shiraz, according to online videos verified by Agence France Presse, while elsewhere, striking steel workers gathered in a car park in Isfahan.

Video also showed commuters chanting in a Tehran metro station, "Death to the dictator," which was directed at Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Isfahani also said there were strikes and protests in Karaj, Babool, and dozens of Kurdish cities.

"'Freedom, freedom, freedom,' students chant at Tabriz university," Isfahani tweeted, next to a video of protesters. Next to another video he shared, Isfahani wrote: "Women have removed their hijabs defying regime while passing cars honk their horns in support."

Protesters have been mobilizing since the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, three days after the 22-year-old was detained by the country's morality police for reportedly wearing an "improper" form of hijab.

The demonstrations initially took aim at restrictive rules for women but have morphed into widespread anger at the ruling regime.

At least 326 protesters, including 43 children and 25 women, have been killed in the crackdown by security forces, according to Iran Human Rights and up to 15,000 people have been detained.

A court in Tehran issued the first death sentence to a person arrested for taking part in the protests, which elicited a response from the former captain of Iran's national football team, Ali Daei.

He tweeted that he had declined an invitation to attend the World Cup "to be with you in my country and express my sympathy to all the families who have lost their loved ones."

"Hoping for bright days for Iran and Iranians," he added, according to a translation.

Newsweek has contacted the Iranian foreign ministry for comment.