A rights group says security forces have closed the roads leading to the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan in an attempt to ward off demonstrations after Friday Prayers in the city on January 20.

People in Sistan and Baluchistan province have been holding protest rallies every Friday since September 30, when a demonstration turned deadly as security forces of the Islamic Republic cracked down hard on demonstrators.

During the so-called Bloody Friday massacre in Zahedan, almost 100 people were killed and hundreds injured by security forces during unrest sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police and the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl by a local police commander.

On January 19, the Baloch Activists Campaign quoted an informed source as saying military forces had set up checkpoints in the city and made it difficult for cars to move by creating obstacles.

The Rasad Balochistan website also reported that troops are trying to prevent people from joining a protest rally at the Makki Grand Mosque in Zahedan by establishing “super security measures.”

Last month, a leaked audio recording from the Iranian pro-regime Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces appeared to show the secretary of the council admitting to the accidental killing of women and children during Bloody Friday.

Earlier, another leaked document from the Fars agency, published by the Black Reward hacking group, shows Khamenei telling security and military officials to try and disgrace cleric Sunni Muslim Molavi Abdolhamid, who is a vocal critic of the government, instead of arresting him.

Anger over Amini’s death on September 16 has prompted thousands of Iranians to take to the streets nationwide to demand more freedoms and women’s rights. The widespread unrest represents the biggest threat to the Islamic government since the 1979 revolution.

The activist HRANA news agency said that as of January 15 at least 522 people had been killed during the unrest, including 70 minors, as security forces try to stifle widespread dissent.

Sunni Muslims make up the majority of the population in Sistan-Baluchistan Province in southeastern Iran where Abdolhamid is based but make up only about 10 percent of the population in Shi’a-dominated Iran overall.

Source » rferl