Tens of thousands march in Berlin in solidarity with Iran protests

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini has sparked protests in Iran.

October 22, 2022, 7:27 PM

Berlin -- Berlin hosted the biggest crowd of Iranians outside their country Saturday in 43 years and reportedly about 80,000 to 100,000 joined the demonstration in a show of solidarity with protestors inside Iran.

They chanted slogans and held up signs with themes mostly about "freedom" and sang about women's rights, economic hardships, environmental issues, freedom of speech, and even the rights of the Afghan refugees in the country.

Many signs and slogans addressed the international community and demanding the west to stop signing any deal with the Islamic Republic.

Protests in Iran are entering its sixth week, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for allegedly not adhering to the strict dress code of the country. Amini later died in custody and her death brought thousands to the streets who were no longer just demanding justice for Amini, but also seeking to topple the regime and reclaiming their social and economic status.

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators protest following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, October, 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators protest following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, October, 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo
Christian Mang/Reuters

At least 241 people have been killed in the protests as the US-based HRANA news agency reported. Iran education minister confirmed that many students are arrested and taken to the juvenile centers for "correction."

"I am here to amplify the voice of those protesting inside the country. They are doing the dangerous part of the job in protesting against the Islamic Republic which is facing bullets and batons," Maryam, 29, told ABC News. She is a student in Vienna, but did not want her full name to be mentioned for security reasons.

"Joining this protest was a call, I could not ignore," she said. "I wanted to tell my people they are not alone."

Many people had travelled into Berlin from across Germany and others joining from EU countries, the U.K. and Canada.

Different demonstrators from across the EU told ABC News Saturday in Berlin that they have given up their slightest hopes in the Islamic Republic.

"We hope people in the west hear us and put their governments under pressure to stop dealing with this regime," Soheil, told ABC News, who traveled from Rome to join the march. Soheil did not give his full name for security reasons.

"I do not recognize this regime as my representative. And look around, you can't find anyone here who doesn't share this with me," he said.

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators protest following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, October, 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators protest following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, October, 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo
Christian Mang/Reuters

One of the major figures attending and speaking at the demonstration in Berlin was Hamed Esmaeilion, the speaker of the families of the Ukrainian flight victims and has already mobilized tens of thousands of Iranians across the globe to rally in solidarity with the protests at home.

Explaining about the massive support for the protests at home by Iranian expatriates, Esmaeilion told ABC News that "borders" do not work anymore.

"Over 40 years, Islamic Republic of Iran has tried to shape this narrative, that there is a big difference between in and out. But now you don't see that," he said. "The emperor of fear has come to an end."

Esmaeilion also asked the West to stop negotiating with the regime and called on them to treat Islamic Republic officials as they treat Russian oligarchs.

"I am pro targeted sanctions on the perpetrators of the crimes," he clarified and asked the western countries to "expel ambassadors of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the free world."

Esmaeilion opened his public speech for the protestors with "We all have a dream," reminding everyone of Martin Luther King's speech.

Narrating the "dream," Esmaeilion listed many of the protestors' demands, from ending suppression against prisoners of conscience, political activists, members of LGBTQ community, journalists, teachers and workers and students.

"In this dream… no one gives weapons to Putin to kill Ukrainians," he said. "And this dream comes true only with toppling the Islamic Republic."

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