Iran’s judiciary has once again warned government opponents not to take to the streets to mark the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini next month as tensions rise a year after the 22-year-old died while in police custody for an alleged violation of the country’s head scarf law.

Deputy Judiciary Chief Sadeq Rahimi told reporters on August 24 that Iranian intelligence and security agencies are “vigilantly monitoring” potential protest activities and that “any group aiming to disrupt social structures in the coming days will be identified and handed over to the judiciary.”

Amini was detained by the morality police while visiting Tehran in September 2022 because she was allegedly wearing a head scarf, or hijab, improperly. Witnesses say security agents beat her during her arrest, while official autopsy reports blamed it on health conditions the family claims she didn’t have.

Amini died on September 16 after being moved to a hospital, sparking mass protests that have continued for most of the past year.

Authorities have responded to the biggest challenge to the Islamic leadership since it came to power following the 1979 revolution with a heavy-handed crackdown that has seen hundreds killed, thousands arrested, and harsh penalties, including the death sentence for offenders.

Rahimi cautioned those pardoned by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this year for violations committed during the protests would be hit with even harder penalties if they are detained again.

Many lawyers, human rights activists, imprisoned protesters, and former political prisoners have dismissed the amnesty decree as a thinly veiled attempt at propaganda in the face of such strong dissent.

The government, fearing a flare-up in protests next month on the anniversary of Amini’s death, has been ramping up warnings against activists and families of those killed in the protests.

In a statement released on August 21, Amnesty International detailed the situation of 36 families from 10 provinces in Iran who have suffered human rights abuses in recent months at the hands of Iranian law enforcement.

The August 16 arrest of 12 women’s rights activists who are accused of planning events ahead of the anniversary of Amini’s death has intensified concerns that officials will stop at nothing to try and quell any unrest.

The Telegram channel of the Iranian Student Guild Councils highlighted the delay in the academic calendar of major universities, attributing it to the upcoming anniversary of Amini’s death. The channel also reported an increase in “contacts from security agencies with students” as the anniversary approaches.

Reports say many students have been coerced into signing commitments to abstain from potential student protests and online activities that align with the protests.

In recent weeks at Azarbaijan Civil University, security personnel have allegedly threatened students and their families with potential arrests and university expulsions.

Source » iranintl