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Paris (AFP) – A city in western Iran on Wednesday went on strike in solidarity with mourners 40 days after security forces killed dozens in a crackdown on protests in the conflict-torn southeast of the country, the rights said. the group said.
Security forces opened fire on protests that erupted on September 30 after weekly prayers in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baltistan province on the Iran-Pakistan border.
It was two weeks after demonstrations erupted across Iran after 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Murthy Amini was arrested in Tehran for ignoring strict hijab-wearing rules for women.
At least 304 people, including 41 children and 24 women, died in a nationwide crackdown on protests after her death, according to combined tolls released by the Oslo-based Iranian Human Rights Organization (IHR). did.
In a video shared on the 1500tasvir social media channel, activists were seen distributing leaflets calling for protests in all cities on Wednesday for a 40-day memorial service for Zahedan’s “Bloody Friday”.
Widespread strikes are underway in western Kurdish cities such as Bane, Kermanshah, Marivan, Sanandaj and Saqez, Amini’s hometown, according to the Hengaw rights group.
A Norway-based group that monitors abuses in Kurdish areas said it had observed a halt to work “in solidarity with the dead in the 40th day death ritual in Zahedan.”
Videos posted online by activists showed closed shops in Sakez and Zahedan itself.
The riots that erupted in Zahedan on September 30 were triggered by the rape of a 15-year-old girl in custody by a police commander in the province’s port city of Chabahar.
Security forces opened fire on men as they emerged from the mosque after prayers every Friday, killing dozens.
“What happened in Zahedan that Friday is a clear example of the genocide of civilians under international law,” Hengoe said.
“This genocide must be recognized by international organizations and Western governments,” he tweeted.
The IHR said at least 92 protesters were killed on September 30 in Zahedan, one of the few predominantly Sunni cities in predominantly Shiite Iran.
Since then, at least 28 people have died in protests in Sistan-Baltistan, he told AFP on Wednesday.
The impoverished province of Sistan-Baluchistan has become a flashpoint for clashes with drug-smuggling gangs and rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni extremist groups.
Activists have long accused the region of being the victim of discrimination by Iran’s Shia cleric leadership, with a disproportionate number of Baluchis being killed in clashes and hanged for execution each year.
The latest executions were announced on Wednesday.
Two men, Rashid Baluch and Eshaq Askani, were executed on Tuesday after being convicted of killing four police officers in 2016, according to the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.
They said they were members of the Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) “terrorist group”.
Protests over Amini’s death show no signs of abating despite a bloody crackdown and campaign of mass arrests that have seized artists, journalists and lawyers.
Young women led the way, removing and burning head coverings, chanting anti-regime slogans, and confronting security forces in the streets.
Iran has employed a variety of tactics to suppress the protests that have turned into the biggest challenge for clerical leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Security forces fired directly at protesters using live ammunition, bird shots, tear gas and even paintballs.
Authorities have also imposed internet restrictions, including blocking access to Instagram and WhatsApp, and deployed mounted police on Tehran’s streets to quell protests.
This week, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was accused of making death threats against two journalists working for the London-based Persian-language Iranian International TV channel.
Volant Media, owner of the Saudi-linked channel, said the two had received a formal warning from London Metropolitan Police “of a credible threat to their lives and the lives of their families”.
In response, Iran’s Information Minister Esmail Khatib warned that the UK would “pay a price” for what it called actions to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
Khatib also accused Iran’s main regional rival Saudi Arabia of funding the media behind the wave of turmoil, state news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.
© 2022 AFP