Tens of thousands of people gathered in Germany’s capital on Saturday to show solidarity with protesters in Iran — a movement sparked by the death of a woman in the custody of morality police now challenging the Islamic Republic authorities.
Berlin police estimated that some 80,000 people had joined the German demonstration by late afternoon.
Participants held up Iranian flags and signs criticising Iran’s leaders, many with the tagline “Women, Life, Freedom” in both English and German.
One of the speakers at the protests asked the international community to banish ambassadors from Tehran and not to negotiate with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as “the Islamic Republic does not represent Iran.”
“We all have a dream,” the speaker was quoted as saying by Euronews Persian.
“In this dream, the prisoners are not tried and executed in three minutes. In this dream, thugs do not put belts around the necks of writers and poets.”
The demonstration, organised by the Woman*-Life-Freedom collective, began at the Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten park and continued as a march through central Berlin.
Some demonstrators said they had come from elsewhere in Germany and other European countries to show their support.
“It is so important for us to be here, to be the voice of the people of Iran, who are killed on the streets,” said Shakib Lolo, who is from Iran but lives in the Netherlands.
“And this is not a protest anymore, this is a revolution, in Iran. And the people of the world have to see it.”
Other issues were the focus of demonstrations in Berlin as well, including one calling for social solidarity in the wake of a potential energy crisis and another advocating a speed limit on German highways.
In Tehran, more antigovernment protests took place Saturday at several universities. The nationwide movement in Iran first focused on the country’s mandatory hijab following the 16 September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police.
Security forces have dispersed gatherings with live ammunition and tear gas, leaving over 200 people dead, according to rights groups.
The government in Tehran also has been in the spotlight in European capitals due to allegations that Iran has supplied explosive drones that Russian troops are using in Ukraine.