Iran: An artist paints wells blood red to illustrate oppression

Iran: An artist paints wells blood red to illustrate oppression

An anonymous artist colored water fountains in Tehran on Friday in a reference to the bloody crackdown on three weeks of protests that erupted after Mahsa Amini’s death. This 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman died on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by vice squads for violating the strict dress code that obliges women in particular to wear the veil in the Islamic Republic.

Anger over his death has sparked the largest protests in Iran in nearly three years. Despite the raid that killed dozens and the arrests of hundreds, protests continued, according to online videos authenticated by AFP.

92 protesters killed

Images of several blood-red fountains in central Tehran were shared online by media outlet 1500tasvir, which details human rights abuses. Activists on Twitter described the red fountains as a “work of art” named “Tehran covered in blood” and said they were designed by an anonymous artist.

Photos posted by the BBC’s Persian Instagram account show the water in the pools was later cleaned, although traces of red can still be seen in it. According to the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), at least 92 protesters were killed in the raid, which was accompanied by restrictions on internet access, including the blocking of Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Death to the Dictator”

In a video released online on Thursday and authenticated by AFP, a group of women in Racht in the North chant “Death to the Dictator”. Other images show women shouting “Azadi” (“freedom” in Persian) and clapping loudly as they walk down a street in Quds west of Tehran.

Amnesty International says it has confirmed 52 cases of people killed by security forces but estimates “the real number is much higher”. In a statement released a week ago, the NGO says Iran deliberately used deadly force to quell protests led by women.

Amnesty says it has received a document for commanders of all provinces’ armed forces, issued on September 21, ordering them to respond “firmly” to protesters.


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