Thousands rally on anniversary of Iranian crackdown

Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS

Thousands of people have taken to Australian streets to protest Iran's increasingly autocratic regime on the anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody in the Middle Eastern country.

Rallies calling for greater freedoms for women in Iran were held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth on Saturday - a year since Ms Amini's death sparked widespread protests around the world.

The 22-year-old died after being detained by Iran's so-called morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly. 

Her death sparked an outcry, with women and young people often at the forefront as protesters in Iran targeted symbols of the Islamic Republic, burning pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chanting "Death to the Dictator".

Women, including schoolgirls, took off and burned headscarves, revolting against laws obliging women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes.

The protests were particularly intense in areas home to ethnic minorities that have long faced discrimination by the state, including Kurds in the northwest and Baluchis in the southeast.

After a chess player and a climber competed without wearing headscarves other prominent women defied the authorities by violating the hijab law and voicing support for the protests.

Authorities in Iran have imposed travel bans and jail terms on several public figures from athletes to actresses.

Tehran then drew further condemnation for torturing and executing protesters, including family members of the Australian diaspora.

A year on from Ms Amini's death, protesters gathered in Australian cities on Saturday in solidarity and anger.

NSW Greens members Mehreen Faruqi and David Shoebridge spoke at the Sydney Rally in Hyde Park, calling for condemnation of Iran's regime.

The Melbourne rally was attended by Victorian Greens MP Tim Read and Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was imprisoned for two years in Iran on espionage charges.

South Australian senator Simon Birmingham joined Amnesty International's Nader Zoljalali in Adelaide, while Queensland Senator Paul Scar joined Greens member Amy McMahon at the Brisbane rally.

Canberra hosted Kathryn Allan, the founder of the Amnesty International Feminist Network while protesters in Hobart were joined by Tasmanian senator Claire Chandler and state Greens leader Rosalie Woodruff.

with Reuters