Iran intensifies lethal crackdown in Kurdish areas: rights teams

Iranian safety forces on Monday intensified a crackdown in western Iran’s Kurdish-populated areas that killed a dozen individuals over 24 hours, immediately capturing at protesters and utilizing heavy weapons, rights teams mentioned.

The Kurdish-populated provinces of western and northwestern Iran have been hubs of protest because the September dying in custody of Kurdish lady Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested by morality police in Tehran.

There have been significantly intense anti-regime demonstrations in a number of cities in the previous few days, rights teams say, largely sparked by the funerals of individuals mentioned to have been killed by the safety forces in earlier protests.

The Norway-based Hengaw rights group mentioned Iranian forces had shelled in a single day Sunday-Monday the cities of Piranshahr, Marivan and Javanroud, posting movies with the sound of stay gunfire and what seemed to be the thud of heavy weaponry.

In a single harrowing video Hengaw mentioned was from Javanroud, locals have been seen struggling to take away a physique from the road below a hail of gunfire.

It mentioned 13 individuals had been killed within the area by the safety forces over the earlier 24 hours, together with seven in Javanroud, 4 in Piranshahr and two extra in different places.

Amongst six individuals killed by gunfire from the safety forces on Sunday was 16-year-old Karwan Ghader Shokri, Hengaw mentioned. One other man was killed when safety forces fired on crowds as {the teenager}’s physique was being dropped at the mosque, it added.

AFP couldn’t instantly confirm the toll.

Web monitor NetBlocks tweeted on Monday that there was “a significant disruption” to web companies throughout the brand new protests, with “cellular web lower off for a lot of customers”.

Hengaw mentioned that amid “intense confrontations” between protesters and safety forces in Javanroud there was now a scarcity of blood for the wounded in its hospitals.

The New York-based Middle for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) described what was occurring in Javanroud as a “bloodbath”, with “incessant gunshot streams, pictures of bloody individuals being carried to security.”

Ramifications of the protests have been felt in Qatar the place Iran’s nationwide crew performed its first match, in opposition to England. Iranian gamers didn’t sing their nationwide anthem, and as a substitute stood stony-faced, in obvious help for the demonstrations again residence.

– ‘Intensifying violence’ –

The most recent violence got here alongside continued concern over the scenario in Mahabad, the place rights teams mentioned safety forces had despatched reinforcements the day earlier than to press a crackdown.

“Drastically involved that Iranian authorities are reportedly escalating violence in opposition to protesters, significantly within the metropolis of Mahabad,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Hengaw posted footage it mentioned was of heavily-armed safety forces in automobiles headed from the town of Sanandaj in the direction of Mahabad and the close by city of Bukan.

The Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group additionally posted footage it mentioned confirmed safety forces utilizing stay hearth in opposition to protesters in Piranshahr.

It additionally confirmed the distraught mom of Shokri, the teenager killed on Sunday, prostrating herself on his corpse because it was taken for burial.

“Mom, do not cry. We are going to take revenge,” the mourners chanted in Kurdish, the rights group mentioned.

IHR’s director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam posted a video displaying wounded protesters mendacity on the street in Javanroud, surrounded by the fixed sound of gunfire.

“They’re intensifying the violence in opposition to defenceless residents,” he wrote on Twitter.

Folks additionally took to the streets in Kermanshah, a Kurdish-populated provincial capital, chanting “dying to (supreme chief Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei”, one other video posted by IHR mentioned.

Iranian safety forces have killed not less than 378 individuals because the protests started, an IHR toll on Saturday mentioned.

The demonstrations sparked by Amini’s dying have develop into essentially the most severe problem to the Iranian regime because the 1979 revolution.

Analysts have famous that violence by the safety forces has merely triggered extra protests, with giant crowds turning out for funerals and 40-day “chehelom” mourning ceremonies.

Kurds make up considered one of Iran’s most necessary non-Persian ethnic minority teams and customarily adhere to Sunni Islam slightly than the Shiism dominant within the nation.

Within the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan on Monday, a policeman was killed and one other wounded by “criminals” firing from a automobile in a village of Zahedan, provincial police chief Common Mohammad Ghanbari instructed Fars information company.

Iran additionally renewed cross-border missile and drone strikes in a single day into Monday in neighbouring Iraq in opposition to Kurdish opposition teams it accuses of stoking the protests.

The most recent Iranian strikes additionally got here a day after Turkey carried out air raids in opposition to outlawed Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan and northern Syria.

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