Security forces, mostly plainclothes agents, were stationed around the building, with vans parked nearby to transport detainees. Then, without warning, riot police on motorcycles began shooting metal pellets at the crowd, two of his witnesses told The Washington Post.
“They were shooting nonstop. Everyone started running,” said the doctor who wrote the description of the attack.
“They used shotguns [with pellets], batons and tear gas were unrestricted,” another doctor recalled. “They beat a young female dentist and a 70-something old doctor. [years old] They fell to the ground holding their heads. “
The Post was unable to independently verify their accounts, which were shared on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation. But they were corroborated by reports from activists and other media. A shaky video of the attack shows people screaming and trying to flee as gunfire erupts.
Iranian doctors were among the first to question the official account of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in “morality police” custody in mid-September and are now the subject of a widespread crackdown. It’s becoming As the riots enter their eighth week, the most sustained challenge to the Islamic Republic in decades, the government is punishing medical workers who provided treatment to injured protesters.
What happened on October 26 was the most direct clash to date between the authorities and the Iranian medical community. The deputy chief of Tehran’s medical council said he was pushed to help a female doctor and the head of the council was punched in the face during the chaos. resigned on the same day. Some posted pictures on social media of bruises and bloody cuts they received during the crackdown.
“It was actually the interference of security personnel in medical facilities that armed the medical community, and now they themselves are being targeted,” said Hadi Gaemi, executive director of the Iranian Center for Human Rights in New York. said. based advocacy group.
Since the early days of the protests, security forces have placed protesters inside hospitals to identify and arrest them, and have pressured medical personnel to inform them about them. As the number of arrests increased, many protesters began avoiding hospitals, with compassionate doctors providing treatment in their homes.
Most feared security forces stand by as protests rock Iran
“Doctors are no different than the rest of Iranian society. They are part of the community,” said Shahram Kordasti, a London-based hematology oncologist who has been in touch with Iranian doctors during the protests. . “They are suffering just like everyone else.”
Few hospitals will provide treatment without first recording the patient’s national identification number, an easy way for security forces to track down injured protesters, according to doctors and activists. , even went to the vet to avoid detection and arrest.
Doctors and activists say plainclothes forces are also expanding into pharmacies. If someone comes to buy sterile gauze pads for an injured friend or relative, agents will either confront them on the spot or track them down to arrest them when they identify someone in need of medical attention. Probability is high.
The ever-present surveillance threat has created informal online networks. The network allows protesters to identify injuries and reach out to handlers. Handlers will connect you with a doctor in your area, if available. According to a doctor involved in the effort, the code system is used to minimize the chances of security her agents infiltrating the network.
These networks also distribute medicines, but getting them from local pharmacies is becoming more difficult. Plans are being discussed to source the drug from outside Iran to reduce the likelihood of detection, the doctor said on condition of anonymity.
A Twitter account set up two weeks ago called “Emdadgaran Enghelab” or “Revolutionary Aid Workers” offers detailed assistance to protesters in Persian. This account already has over 18,000 followers.
A recent post included animated step-by-step graphics showing how to remove metal pellets commonly fired by security forces, and how to properly clean and bandage wounds. The post advises protesters on how to deal with head injuries and pepper spray.
Rosh Ohio Gouldan Sakmahi Damansul
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“We are teaching people how to take care of themselves,” group members told the Post, adding, “gunshot wounds, blunt force trauma from batons, penetrating injuries like stab wounds, and the effects of riot gas.” as the most common injuries suffered by protesters.
Suppression tactics: How Iran is trying to thwart Masa Amini’s protests
According to doctors and activists, government forces have tried to cover up their presence inside and outside the protests by using ambulances both to transport security personnel and to detain detained demonstrators.
“Responsible governments use ambulances to treat the wounded,” said Sahar Motarevi, an Iranian doctor based in Sweden and a former UN official. “This government uses ambulances to detain people.”
Misuse of medical equipment and hospital break-ins prompted them to revolt, doctors say. Three days after his crackdown in Tehran, the head of the medical council in the northeastern city of Mashhad and his wife, who is also a member of the council, organized protests held by medical officials the previous week. was arrested on suspicion of The third doctor to speak at the event.
On the day the doctors were arrested in Mashhad, medical students at the Kurdistan Medical Science University in the western city of Sanandaj, hundreds of miles away, staged their own demonstration.a video Shots ring out, showing students in lab coats running for cover as security personnel storm the campus.
“The biggest supporters of the protesters are medical workers,” Motalebi said. [them]”