Massive crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations in Iran

Since December 28, 2017, when the protest against high prices began in Mashhad, northeast of Iran, and then spread throughout the country, at least 50 people were killed, more have been injured and several thousand have been arrested.

The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has begun a house-to-house search in many smaller towns, arresting those identified in the protests, terrorizing the people and threatening them not to take part in any protests.

There are also reports of IRGC and agents of the Intelligence Ministry approaching former political prisoners, families of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who are out of Iran, and anyone suspecting of being active, forcing them to make a written pledge not to take part in protests.

The Iranian regime’s officials have acknowledged that a large number of people have been arrested. The arrest of 2934 protesters have been confirmed either by Iranian officials or through the network of the PMOI/MEK. See attached a table of arrests. The true figures are much higher and could reach several thousands. A member of the regime’s parliament said 3700 people have been arrested (House of nations, 9 January 2018)

According to Amnesty International only on December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 some 423 detainees were registered in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.

Amnesty International has warned that those arrested and detained in jails notorious for torture and other ill-treatment over the past seven days, with many being denied access to their families and lawyers, are at risk of torture.

Amnesty International stressed in its statement of January 4 that “The Iranian authorities have an appalling track record of carrying out mass arbitrary arrests of peaceful demonstrators. Given the alarming scale of the current wave of arrests, it is highly likely that many of those held are peaceful protesters who have been detained arbitrarily and now find themselves in prisons where conditions are dire and torture is a common tool to extract confessions and punish dissidents.”

“The Iranian authorities must ensure that anyone held solely for peacefully taking part in demonstrations, expressing support for them or criticizing the authorities is released immediately and unconditionally. All detainees should be protected from torture and other illtreatment.”

Amnesty International further stated:

“Despite President Hassan Rouhani’s assurance on Sunday 31 December 2017 that protesters have the right to criticize the government, the authorities’ subsequent rhetoric has suggested they intend to respond to the unrest in an increasingly ruthless manner.

On 1 January, Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani demanded a “strong approach” from “all prosecutors”.

On 2 January, the Head of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Mousa Ghazanfar Abadi, warned that the Ministry of Interior had declared the protests illegal and that those who continued to engage in protests would face severe penalties. He threatened that the protest leaders and organizers could be charged with “enmity against God” (moharebeh), which is punishable by the death penalty, “as they are connected with foreign intelligence services and are implementing their agendas.”

The same day, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Sayed Ali Khamenei, accused the country’s “enemies” of stirring the protests.

On 3 January, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, stated that the popular social messaging application Telegram would remain blocked unless it agreed to remove “terrorist content”.

The CEO of Telegram has said that it has refused the authorities’ request to shut down channels that peacefully promote and support the protests. The social media application Instagram also remains blocked. On 31 December Minister Jahromi had said that the blocking of access to Telegram and Instagram, which began that day, would be temporary.

The authorities’ aggressive rhetoric has been accompanied by state-sanctioned media outlets publishing a wanted list of protesters with their faces showing, and calling on members of the public to identify and report them to the authorities.

“The escalation in the intimidation of protesters and the grossly disproportionate restrictions imposed on the right to freedom of expression online over recent days heightens fears that the Iranian authorities may resort to increasingly heavy-handed tactics to crush dissenting voices,” said Philip Luther of the Amnesty International.

“Peaceful protest is a right, and many people in Iran want to exercise that right. Instead of opting for repression and absurdly accusing protesters of collusion in foreignorchestrated plots, the Iranian authorities should address their own record of failure to respect a range of civil, political, economic and social rights.”

Iran Uprising – Since December 2017

Iranian regime’s officials engaged in suppressive measures

7 January 2018

Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei

Supreme Leader (vali-e faqih) of the clerical regime

1. He was appointed as the Supreme Leader on 4 June 1989.

He is the ultimate power in Iran.

2. He controls all three branches of power.

3. He is in full command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that is responsible for maintaining power and operates above the country’s army. IRGC is responsible for suppression inside Iran.

4. He has been responsible for all violations of human rights, suppression and repression, execution of dozens of thousands of people since the formation of the religious dictatorship in Iran. As the President of the regime, he was involved in massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. He has been in charge of suppression of uprisings and killing defenceless people in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2009 and 2017.

5. He is the main authority in export of terrorism, meddling in other countries and warmongering in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, which have led to the deaths and injuries of millions of people. Quds force of the IRGC that is tasked to meddle in other countries and the region is under direct command of Khamenei.

6. He has played a key role in authorizing extraterritorial activities and assassination of Iranian and non-Iranian opponents of the regime abroad. These activities have taken the lives of hundreds so far and it is still continuing to date.

7. He directly controls all propaganda and activities to spread Islamic fundamentalism and formed dozens of organizations to spread the ideology of hatred and violence across the world. These propaganda activities and reaction to them have given the cause for creation of movements such as Alqaida and Daesh which are threatening the world peace and security.

8. He is in full control of nuclear and missile programs.

9. He controls the country’s economy through dozens of so-called private companies linked to his office or affiliated to the IRGC. More than 51 percent of net national income is under his control leading to widespread poverty and deprivation of millions of Iranians that has sparked the nationwide discontent and uprising.

Hassan Rouhani

President and the head of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)

1. As the president of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), he plays a key role in all measures to crackdown on the current uprising started on December 28, 2017. All suppressive bodies including the IRGC, State Security Force, Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and the IRGC Intelligence are members of the SNSC. On December 31, 2017, he threatened the demonstrators with greater suppression. He tried deceitfully to pretend that he wanted to protect the people’s economic rights. After four days of nationwide protests several people were reported killed and dozens arrested.

2. He has always been a key figure within the regime since its inception in 1979. He has played important roles in all suppressive and terrorist activities of the regime. From 1989 to 2005 as the Secretary of Supreme National Security Council and the representative of Khamenei in this body, he played a decision making role in all suppressive measures during the Qazvin uprising in 1991, uprising in Islamshahr in 1995, student uprising in 1999 and hundreds of terrorist operations inside the country such as the chain murders, outside Iran such as the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi in Switerzerland, Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia, and production of weapons of mass destruction like nuclear weapons.

3. From 2005 to 2013, as the representative of Khamenei in SNSC, and from 2013 to date as the president and the head of SNSC, he has been a decision making figure in suppressive measures including the uprising in 2009 that followed the shame presidential elections and terrorist meddling and warmongering by IRGC in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Afghanistan and others.

4. He has a long track record of brazen statements against people’s basic rights and freedoms in defence of the clerical dictatorship. In July 1980 he suggested: “It would be better if the seditionists (reference to protesters) are brought to Friday prayers ceremony and hanged before the eyes of the prayers in order to have a better impact.” Following the crackdown of student uprising in July 1999, he said: “They are far cheaper than that to be described as a movement to bring down the state… if it were not for the authorities’ objection, our people, and young Muslim and revolutionaries would have dealt with these thugs with the harshest manner.” On 29 December, speaking on the occasion of marking the anniversary of suppression the 2009 uprising, he described the day as “the day of Iranian people’s defence of the Prophet’s family, the state, the velayat-e faqih rule and its Supreme Leader.”

Mohammad Sadeq Larijani Amoli

Head of Judiciary

Head of Judiciary since 2009. He has played a key role in issuing death sentences, authorizing torture and mass killings of people.

In a meeting with judicial officials on 1st January 2018 he called for “firmness” in dealing with protesters. He authorized repressive forces to attack and arrest protesters who have been on streets since Thursday, December 28, 2017.

Major General Mohammad-Ali Jaafari

Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)

He is also Commander of Tehran’s Sarollah Garrison, General Command of all suppressive measures in Tehran.

On January 3 he admitted to the IRGC involvement in suppression of popular uprising although he attempted to minimize the scale of involvement by saying that “IRGC only intervened in three provinces, Isfahan, Lorestan and Hamedan in a limited scale.”2

Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani

Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran (SNSCI)

A veteran commander of the IRGC.

SNSCI is the highest decision making authority in military and security affairs. Emergency meetings to deal with suppression of the uprising since December 28 have been intervened under his supervision. He attributed the protests across Iran to foreign powers instigations in an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV of the Lebanese Hezbollah on January 2.

Hossein Ashtari

Commander of the State Security Forces (SSF) since early 2015
He is responsible for the security of the country. Forces under his command have been engaged in suppressive measures against protests in the past week and have arrested more than 1400 protesters and killed at least 30 others. Since the start of uprising he has made number of statements including the one on January 2 giving order to all security commanders in provinces and cities to crackdown protesters.

Mohammad Montazeri

General Prosecutor and the head of Special Court for Clergy
He has a long record in the judiciary and being involved in issuing death sentences. He was appointed as the General Prosecutor by Mohammad Sadeq Larijani Amoli on April 3, 2016. He has authorized attacks and arrest of demonstrators in recent days and called for harsh measures. He also called for internet access to be disrupted.

Abbas Jaafari Dowlat Abadi

Tehran Prosecutor

He has been Tehran’s Prosecutor since September 2009. Hundreds of people have been arrested in Tehran province upon his orders and incarcerated in ward 209 of Evin prison, where political prisoners are held and subjected to torture. In a statement regarding recent popular protests he referred to arrest of number of demonstrators and said: “Activities threatening security are not considered as ordinary crimes, therefore the need to be dealt with immediately and decisively by the Judiciary.”5

Mohamma Javad Azari Jahromi

Minister of Communication and Information Technology

He is a veteran member of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and was the head of Technical Directorate for a long time. He played a serious role in controlling communications, telephone and internet lines during the uprising in 2009 that led to the arrest of several hundreds of opponents. He ordered the closure of some social networks and slow down of the internet and telephone lines in recent days. In an interview on January 3 he underlined the decision to close down the Telegraph network.

IRGC Brigadier General Ali Fateh

Commander of the IRGC Cyber Security

He has been serving at this post since February 2015. The section under his command is responsible for all security controls of internet lines and during the 2009 uprising played an important role in suppression of protesters and their arrests. Gerdab website is one of its subsidiary sites. During recent nationwide protests it ordered the control of social networks. The statement of Public Relations of the Cyber Security Command emphasized: “Identify rioters and if you have any information about people whose photos appear below or any other information including photos, films, reports, emails, internet address or complaints regarding groups causing riots, forward them to us through Gerdab website.”

IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Esmail Kosari

A Commander of Sarollah Garrison in Tehran
He is a veteran IRGC commander and is currently deputy head of Tehran’s Sarollah Garrison. The Garrison is part of IRGC and commands suppressive operations in Tehran province controlling all the military, police and intelligence forces in capital. He was also acting in the same command post after the 2009 uprising in charge of suppression in Tehran province. During the past few days he threatened the protesters several times including the one on January 2.

Brigadier General Gholamreza Soleimani

IRGC Commander of Isphahan province
IRGC in Isphahan is also known as Saheb al-Zaman Corps. It has been responsible for suppression of recent days’ protests in the province and wounding and killings of dozens in towns of Qahdarijan, Shahin-Shahr, Homayoun-Shahr and Jouy-Shahr.

Hassan Rahimi

Isphahan province General and Revolutionary Prosecutor
He has authorized attacks on protesters and their arrests in Isphahan province and is responsible for killing and wounding of dozens in the province. Commenting on recent days protests he said: “People must know that any involvement in these gatherings are considered as crimes and will be dealt with firmly.”

Lieutenant Brigadier Morteza Kashkouli

IRGC Commander of Lorestan province

He has been serving at this post since 2015. IRGC in this province is also known as Abolfazl Corps. His forces have been involved in crackdown of people’s protests in recent days, especially in Doroud where number of protesters have been killed.

Lieutenant Brigadier Mazaher Majidi

IRGC Commander of Hamedan province

The IRGC in this province is also known as Ansar al-Hossein Corps. His forces in recent days have been engaged in suppression of protesters in the province and killing of demonstrators in cities of Toyserkan and Hamedan.

IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpoor

IRCG Commander in Khuzestan province

He has been the commander of IRGC in the province since 2009.

IRGC in the province is also known as 7th Corps of Vali-e Asr. During the ten days of the uprising in Khuzestan province several protesters were killed in Izeh, Dezful and Masjid Soleiman by IRGC and State Security Force and hundreds arrested. IRGC forces under his command are responsible for crackdown on protesters across the province.  

Iranian officials’ quotes on suppression of the uprising

03/01/2018

Maj. Gen. Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps )IRGC) said: “Now we can say that it is the end of 2017’s sedition (reference to popular uprising).

Jafari stressed that many of the rioters who were at the centre of sedition were all trained counter-revolutionaries and monafeqin (a derogatory term used by the regime to refer to the PMOI/MEK) who were arrested and will be dealt with severely.

He added: “The enemies quickly got into cyberspace and came to the scene for sedition … while simultaneously with 3,000 people, began new networking.

The Revolutionary Guards commander added that the lack of control over cyberspace, which is managed overseas, and the lack of authority in controlling this space, also aggravated the turmoil, but when cyberspace was controlled, sedition diminished.

He emphasized: “If security was not prepared in this situation, the intensity of this sedition would have been much wider than this and, on the other hand, the conditions of cyberspace were in no way appropriate and in some cases, because of their own interests and neglecting the warnings, the opportunity to control the cyberspace was lost.

Jafari stressed that killing was one of the main aims of seditionists and their masters in the recent turmoil and they wanted to kill children and women seriously and purposefully, and blame the Islamic Republic of Iran for it.

Jafari said that our security preparedness caused the enemy to experience a new defeat because, if our situation was like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, then the Islamic Republic of Iran would have experienced irreparable losses.

Source » ncr-iran

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