Casualties mount as Iran protests enter fifth week

10/17/2022 5:02:31 PM
 Protesters clashing with police in Tehran.
 photo: KurdSat
Blazes and shots were heard in Iran's place of activists, journalists and politicians, the Evin prison in Tehran.

What Has Change: Human Rights groups reported 233 people killed since the unrest sparked at the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Zhina Amini, known as Mahsa Amini in Persian and Arabic media, in the custody of Iran's religious police.

What Happened: Her death initially sparked protests in her home town of Saqqez following his funeral and later spread to the rest of Kurdish cities and major Iranian population centers. Discontent spreads in the Capital and major cities while protests continue. Authority's crackdown only increases with many minors killed, detained or beaten.

What Is Happening? Demonstrations continue in Saqqez, and government forces have attacked citizens' homes and neighborhoods to intimidate people. Tensions and clashes have become a norm between security forces and demonstrators in Rojhelat. According to local media, protesters clashed with the security forces in the Kurdish city of Marivan in Iran's west.

Who Is Targeted? Hengaw Human Rights Organization released a video showing security forces arresting a child during demonstrations in Kermanshah. A source told KurdSat that the security forces reached out to detainee families in Mahabad and demanded money in return for their release.

Security forces called Kermanshah-based famous Kurdish singer Aziz Waisi for questioning following the singer's release of a song that supports the protesters. His son filmed himself exposing his fathers arrest and called for his release. Many Kermanshahi figures posted their pictures with the singer, calling for his immediate release. His detainment grabbed regional and international media attention, and Waisi was released soon. 

Update: Iranian security forces have killed at least 176 people, including 31 children, since the turmoil began in Saqqez and spread to 105 other cities across the country, and have arrested over 500 people in Sanandaj alone, according to a Hengaw Weekly report.

Who Burnt the Evin Prison? The latest media attention-grabbing incident was blazes and fires caught on camera and seen globally in Iran's notorious Evin prison, home to many "high profile" political arrests. The State media has suggested the events in Evin prison are not linked to the ongoing protests, quoting an official who blamed "criminal elements" for the fire.

Speaking from inside the prison, Tehran's governor told state TV that there was a riot in a wing of the prison housing petty criminals. Meanwhile, Iran's Mizan News has said the injured developed breathing difficulties during a fire at the prison's sewing workshop. Four of the wounded are in critical condition, it reported. Journalists accused the authorities of being behind the Evin prison riots as they sent a high-profile political prisoner home before it broke out. Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani - son of Iran's late former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - was given "early temporary release", according to his brother.

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