Two human rights groups have published a report shedding light on the Islamic Republic regime’s atrocities against protesters in Iran’s Kurdish regions.
In their comprehensive report sourced from the most recent evidence, Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) and the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) unveiled fresh insights into a series of harrowing events that unfolded during the crackdown on protests last fall and winter in the city of Javanroud (Javanrud) in western Kermanshah province.
The 100-page report, titled “Massacre in Javanrud,” is the result of an exhaustive examination of hundreds of photographs and videos, as well as interviews conducted with 38 eyewitnesses, victims’ families, and individuals who were detained or injured from early October until the end of December 2022. The findings revealed disturbing accounts of tortures, severe beatings, mass detentions, and threats of sexual harassment against numerous protesters, including minors.
For several weeks after the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in mid-September, Iran’s Kurdish-majority cities were also at the forefront of the protests that started with Amini’s hometown Saqqez. People in most Kurdish-populated areas in Kordestan, West Azarbaijan and Kermanshah provinces relentlessly protested and defied government forces.
The regime deployed military forces to these areas to quash the uprising, practically putting a military siege on several cities such as Javanrud. During last year’s protests, which lasted for months, over 500 people were killed by regime security forces and over 22,000 people were arrested.
According to the report, security forces intentionally shot peaceful protesters in the Kurdish city of Javanrud with military-grade weapons, killing eight unarmed civilians, including one child, and injuring at least 80 protesters.
The wounded were beaten by security forces and prevented from receiving medical care without risking arrest. About 90 people, including 26 minors, were apprehended, and detained arbitrarily. A significant number of them endured physical abuse and torture during their time in custody. Furthermore, the families of those who were injured, killed, detained, or mistreated found themselves under state pressure to maintain silence.
Calling them “crimes against humanity,” the human rights groups said the heinous acts perpetrated by the agents of the regime were committed with the full knowledge and direction of state authorities, and included “deliberate and systematic killing, maiming, and abuse of unarmed civilians on a large scale.”
The groups also called on the UN Human Rights Council’s International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully investigate the events in Javanrud from October 2022 – January 2023.
“The international community should directly address the massacre and state crimes that took place in Javanrud, through every diplomatic, political, economic, and legal means available, including pursuing criminal responsibility for the perpetrators of these crimes through international courts or national judicial systems under the principle of universal jurisdiction,” the groups stressed.
Rebin Rahmani, a board member of KHRN, expressed concern about the increasing wave of arrests of Kurdish activists now taking place ahead of the anniversary of the uprising, noting that “The Islamic Republic feels there are no repercussions for their crimes in marginalized regions such as Kordestan and Sistan-Baluchestan, so it is intensifying its violent and unlawful suppression in these areas.”
CHRI executive director Hadi Ghaemi said, “As the one-year anniversary of the ‘Women Life Freedom’ protests approaches, the potential for renewed protest in Iran—and a violent state response aimed at crushing it—is high. The international community must remain extraordinarily vigilant, warning the Iranian authorities of intense political and economic consequences at the first sign of state violence.”
In anticipation of the anniversary of the protests, the Islamic Republic has intensified its intimidation campaign over the last several weeks, detaining family members of dead protesters, locking up activists, targeting community leaders, and escalating persecution of minority groups and academia.
Source » iranintl