Iran’s crackdown on protests intensifies in Kurdish region


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

Iran intensified its crackdown Tuesday on Kurdish areas in the nation’s west amid protests sparked by the demise of a 22-year-old girl detained by the morality police as oil employees demonstrated at a key refinery, activists mentioned.

Riot police fired into residential neighborhoods in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, as Amnesty International and the White House’s nationwide safety adviser criticized the violence concentrating on demonstrators angered by the demise of Mahsa Amini.

Meanwhile, some oil employees Monday joined the protests at two key refinery complexes, for the primary time linking an business key to Iran’s theocracy to the unrest. Workers claimed one other protest Tuesday in the essential oil metropolis of Abadan, with others calling for protests on Wednesday as effectively.

Iran’s authorities insists Amini was not mistreated, however her household says her physique confirmed bruises and different indicators of beating after she was detained for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict costume code. Subsequent movies have proven safety forces beating and shoving feminine protesters, together with ladies who’ve torn off their necessary headband, or hijab.

From the capital, Tehran, movies emerged exhibiting college students at two universities demonstrating and chanting. Some ladies and ladies have marched via the streets with out headscarves because the protests proceed right into a fourth week. The demonstrations characterize one of many largest challenges to Iran’s theocracy for the reason that 2009 Green Movement protests.

“There is simply a lot anger and frustration in the nation that it is laborious to think about that the present technology of protesters in Iran can be cowed simply by the system resorting to its conventional iron fist and attempting to place down protests,” mentioned Ali Vaez, an analyst who covers Iran for the International Crisis Group.

Videos posted on-line by a Kurdish group referred to as the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights confirmed darkened streets with obvious gunfire going off and a bonfire burning in Sanandaj, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Tehran.

Another confirmed riot police carrying shotguns transferring in formation with a automobile, apparently firing at properties.

A video posted later Tuesday purportedly confirmed a large bullet gap inside the house of 1 Sanandaj resident, a gap that Hengaw alleged got here from a heavy .50-caliber machine gun — the sort usually mounted on armored autos. Another video purportedly confirmed safety forces randomly firing in the air whereas arresting somebody there on Monday.

Videos later Tuesday confirmed protesters throwing stones and wielding golf equipment in town as they confronted safety forces, who fired tear fuel into the group. Hengaw reported a “fierce battle” there Tuesday night time, in addition to in the close by cities of Baneh and Saqqez, Amini’s hometown.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran posted one other video exhibiting what it described as a phalanx of motorcycle-riding safety forces transferring via Sanandaj.

“They reportedly broke the home windows of tons of of automobiles in the Baharan neighborhood,” the middle mentioned.

Amini was Kurdish and her demise has been felt significantly in Iran’s Kurdish region, the place demonstrations started Sept. 17 at her funeral there after her demise the day earlier than.

Amnesty International criticized Iranian safety forces for “utilizing firearms and firing tear fuel indiscriminately, together with into individuals’s properties.” It urged the world to strain Iran to finish the crackdown as Tehran continues to disrupt web and cell phone networks “to cover their crimes.”

Iran didn’t instantly acknowledge the renewed crackdown in Sanandaj. However, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador over the United Kingdom sanctioning members of the nation’s morality police and safety officers because of the crackdown.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry referred to as the sanctions “arbitrary and baseless,” even whereas threatening to doubtlessly take countermeasures towards London.

Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, equally famous that “the world is watching what is going on in Iran.”

“These protestors are Iranian residents, led by ladies and ladies, demanding dignity and fundamental rights,” Sullivan wrote on Twitter. “We stand with them, and we’ll maintain accountable these utilizing violence in a useless effort to silence their voices.”

On Monday, employees held demonstrations in Abadan and Asaluyeh, a key level for Iran’s huge offshore pure fuel discipline in the Persian Gulf it shares with Qatar.

Iran’s state-run IRNA information company on Tuesday claimed the Asaluyeh demonstration was a strike over wages. Videos of the protests included employees chanting: “This is the bloody 12 months Seyyed Ali will likely be overthrown,” referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with out his Shiite non secular title of ayatollah. Workers additionally mentioned a number of of their colleagues had been detained by authorities after their protests Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Contractual Oil Workers Protest Organizing Council claimed one other strike at Abadan, posting movies exterior of the large refinery complicated in town close to the Iraqi border. The particulars in the movies correspond with every and to identified options of the ability in contrast towards satellite tv for pc pictures taken in latest months.

The council later referred to as on different oil employees to affix them in solidarity — doubtlessly elevating the stakes additional. The council’s contractors usually construct oil services, so their demonstrations have not affected Iran’s oil and fuel manufacturing. Drawing in different employees doubtlessly may change that.

It stays unclear how many individuals have been killed or arrested to date in the protests.

An Oslo-based group, Iran Human Rights, estimates not less than 185 individuals have been killed. This contains an estimated 90 individuals killed by safety forces in the japanese Iranian metropolis of Zahedan amid demonstrations towards a police officer accused of rape in a separate case. Iranian authorities have described the Zahedan violence as involving unnamed separatists, with out offering particulars or proof.

Iran’s judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi reportedly mentioned Tuesday that Iran has launched some 1,700 individuals arrested in the latest demonstrations, with out providing a complete determine for these detained to date.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Iranian authorities spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi alleged with out offering proof that U.S. sanctions affected Amini’s skill to get drugs for the continual diseases she confronted. However, an Iranian authorities report Friday mentioned that she was taking hydrocortisone and levothyroxine — two medicines made in Iran accessible in pharmacies in the nation.

Associated Press author Isabel DeBre in Jerusalem contributed to this report


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