Iranians in the city of Junqan hold a rally on May 18 in honor of Jamshid Mokhtari, who was killed in an anti-government protest last year.
Iranian protesters have gathered to show their anger at the government as they commemorate the anniversary of the death of Jamshid Mokhtari, one of the protesters killed in unrest last spring sparked by deteriorating living standards and rising food prices.
Jamshid Mokhtari lost his life last year in the southwestern Iranian city of Junqan during a surge of popular protests that came after a rise in bread prices that brought further attention to the issue of sharp increases overall in food costs.
Videos from the May 18 protest show a large crowd chanting slogans against the Islamic Republic and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Mokhtari's daughter read a poem at the site of her father's fatal shooting, while as a sign of respect, several pigeons were symbolically released into the sky in memory of Mokhtari.
The demonstration continued late into the day with protestors brandishing images of Mokhtari while chanting slogans such as "Death to the dictator," "Death to Khamenei," and "We pledge by the blood of comrades, we shall stand until the end. Last year's protests, which resulted in the deaths of Mokhtari and several others at the hands of the security forces, initially broke out in the cities of Izeh, Dezful, and Andimeshk in Khuzestan Province.
They spread quickly to other areas, including Borujerd and Dorud in Lorestan, Junqan and Farsan in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, and Dehdasht in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.
According to Amnesty International, the harshest suppression of the protests occurred in the province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, where Mokhtari, Behrouz Islami, and Saadat Hadi-Por lost their lives. The protests continued through the summer, and then gained momentum after the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly. The activist HRANA news agency says more than 500 people have been killed during the unrest, including 71 minors, as security forces try to stifle widespread dissent. Thousands have been arrested in the clampdown, with the judiciary handing down harsh sentences to protesters, including the death penalty .