At least 29 civilians have been killed, over 200 got wounded and hundreds have been arrested in the Kurdish cities in Iran following a new wave of protests in Iran against skyrocketing of petrol prices in the country, several sources confirmed to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
Following the sudden increase in petrol price, widespread protests across Iran, including Kurdish cities such as Ilam, Dehloran, Islamabad West, Sar-Pole-Zahab, Kermanshah, Javanrood, Kamyaran, Sanandaj, Marivan, Saqqez and Bukan, have shook the country since 16 November.
Even though the protests began peacefully, the Special Unit and plainclothes forces of the Iranian Government have responded violently at people in the cities of Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Marivan, Javanrood and Bukan.
Adnan Hassanpour, a journalist living in Marivan, told the KHRN that “the protests began peacefully in the city of Marivan but the police and security forces shot at the protestors which led up of at least seven civilians losing their life while 50 people have been injured during the first two days of the protests. Moreover, a civilian was also killed in Sanandaj on 17 November.”
Multiple sources in Marivan have identified the four dead citizens as Osman Naderi, Danial Ostawari, Mehran Tak and Behrouz Maleki.
The markets have been closed in the cities of Marivan and Javanrood since 18 October while all of the the two cities’ main streets were under the control of special forces. The government has closed schools in these cities and many other cities in Iran.
At least six protesters have been killed and more than 25 injured in the past two days in Javanrood. Five of the dead citizens have been identified as Mobin Abdollahi, Kaveh Mohammadi, Ibrahim Moradi and Jabar Tajare. Kaveh Mohammadi and Jabar Taazari’s family were able to bury them in the cemetery on 18 November.
Numerous sources in Kermanshah and Sanandaj have also reported the obstruction of large sections of these cities, especially the central and main streets of the city. Special forces have been deployed around Azadi Square in the two cities and the protests have been continued in the outskirts of the city since 18 October. The neighborhoods of Jaafarabad, Dolatabad and Elahieh in Kermanshah and the neighborhoods near the terminal, Abbas Abad and Sharif Abad of Sanandaj, have also witnessed mass protests and clashes of protestors with the military forces.
An eyewitness at Imam Reza Hospital in Kermanshah told the KHRN on 18 November that 16 people have been recorded dead only at this hospital. Some of these casualties have been directly shot dead by the military forces and nearly 100 had been transferred to this hospital.
On 18 November, civilians also staged protests on several major streets in the city of Bukan where security forces intervened in an attempt to suppress the protests. It has been reported that security forces have been firing directly at the protesters, the KHRN was not able to provide the exact number of the casualties at the time of airing this report.
A large number of security and law enforcement officers were deployed in the central streets of Marivan to crack down on widespread protests on 18 November in other parts of the city such as Kani Dinar and Qalajah.
Due to the interruption of the internet connection and the prevailing security measures in these cities, there is no accurate information available on the exact number of dead and injured people. However, the KHRN has obtained information that at least five protesters have been arrested by the security forces in the cities of Marivan, Sanandaj, Kermanshah and Javanrood. More than 30 people were killed and more than 200 were injured. Some have been taken to hospitals for treatment, but there is no information on their latest status. Some of the casualties in Marivan are reportedly being treated at home due to the fear of being detained if transferred to the hospital for treatment as the security forces have an easy access to the hospitals.
A local source in Saqqez told the KHRN that Mina Sheikhi from Saqqez, who was in Tehran for several years, was targeted by the security forces on 16 November while she was on the roof of a building in Tehran and watching the street protests. This Kurdish civilian is said to have been buried on 18 November in Saqqez after her body was handed over to her family.
Due to the widespread protests in the Kurdish cities and the surrounding neighborhoods, it is estimated that more than one hundred protestors have been detained in the cities of Ilam, Kermanshah, Sar-Pole-Zab, Javanrood, Sanandaj, Marivan and Bukan so far.