The past week has seen the Islamic Republic of Iran double down on its repression in regions where Iran’s oppressed minority nationalities and ethnic groups live. The regime has dredged up and reactivated prior criminal cases and carried out tortures and killings, while shutting down internet access to prevent people from communicating with each other, and news of its crimes getting out.
Arab activist Hassan Abyat, 44, was one gruesome example. He was executed on February 20 in Khuzestan province, the oil-rich southwest region with a majority oppressed ethnic Arab population.
He was a father, held a master’s degree, and worked in his family’s kebab shop. He was arrested along with five others in the wake of protests in April 2011 in Khuzestan and charged with membership in an opposition group. Based on forced confessions after 11 months of torture, which left visible damage, he was convicted of “enmity against god” (Moharebeh) in a group trial. It is noteworthy that he was executed after spending more than 10 years in prison, and that his execution and the blocking of his funeral procession by security forces was a clear attempt to terrorize ethnic Arabs.
On February 22, the Iranian regime secretly hanged the Kurdish political prisoner Sarkut Ahmadi who had been in prison in Kermanshah, Kurdistan, for the past two years. Mr. Ahmadi, 29, was sentenced to death in January 2021 in a sham trial for the death of a security force officer.
“I did not know that treating the wounded was a sin… but even death, even my execution, was no longer important to me”
Also on February 22, Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces in Zahedan carried out the extrajudicial execution of Dr. Ebrahim Rigi. Rigi was a Baluch doctor who treated those injured in the September 30 Bloody Friday massacre in Zahedan. At that time, he was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death for Moharebeh. After an international outcry, his sentence was revoked and he was released on bail. Last Wednesday, the IRGC forces arrested him again and this time he died under torture at a police station.
Meanwhile, in a move that has the effect of intimidating Iranians outside Iran (the diaspora), and all political prisoners, the regime sentenced to death German-Iranian dual national (with U.S. residency) Jamshid Sharmahd. He was kidnapped by Iranian security forces in 2020 while on a business trip to Dubai and on February 20 was convicted in a show trial of membership in a pro-monarchy group said to have carried out terrorist acts in Iran.
Zahedan, Baluchistan: Crackdown, Threats Fail to Stop Mass Protests
On Friday, February 24 in Zahedan, the capital of the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, home to the bitterly oppressed Baluch people, IRGC snipers were posted on roofs along the route of weekly Friday demonstrations. IRGC forces also apparently attempted to force their way into the Grand Makka Mosque there and the Mosli Mosque during prayers (entry was prevented by mosque security). At the same time, the internet in Zahedan was severely disrupted. This was a terrifying reminder that on September 30, snipers had shot down onto a protest and a prayer site, killing 60-100 people.
Earlier the regime arrested two clerics for supporting the protests, intensifying the regime’s contradictions with the Sunni Muslim leadership in Baluchistan.
Despite these measures, thousands of Baluch people took to the streets in protest.
Source » revcom