Mahabad, Piranshar and Juwanrud militarized and under siege – imminent risk of massacre
From Saturday night, 19th November 2022, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have deployed a heavy armored force from Ramazan military base in Urumyieh, Wstern Azerbaijan and another force from Karbala base in Kermanshah, to the cities Mahabad, Piranshar and to Juwanrud (Kermanshah) to suppress forcibly the peaceful protests. It’s accompanied by helicopters and drones flying over the city.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards forces and Basijis are shooting randomly and blindly on the protestors, on the civilian’s houses and Universities and schools especially in the Barishilan neighborhood in Mahabad, in Juanrud and in Sanandaj where dozens of protestors were killed.
According to local witnesses and videos received, the Mahabad city is entirely militarized, internet is shut down and to increase the pressure on the city, the authorities has also cut water for a day and half and people face an imminent risk of massacre.
The situations in Juwanrud in Kermanshah and in Diwadereh is also very critical. We have received reports of the killings of a dozen protestors in Juwanrud in Kermanshah including a minor Bahaddin Waissi 16 years old and his brother Najamddin Waissi. Danial Pabandi a 17 years old boy was killed in Saqez.
Since the nationwide protests have begun after the death of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16th September 2022, Iranian Kurdistan provinces have been seen of violent repression. At least, one hundred twenty-five (125) Kurdish protestors including 13 minors and 8 women were killed.
Kurdish protestors killed
- Forty-four (44) of the victims were from Sine or Kurdistan province,
- Forty-eight (48) of the victims were from Wermê or Western Azerbaijan province,
- Twenty-seven (27) of the victims were from Kermashan or Kermanshah province,
- Three (3) of the victims were from Ilam
- Twelve (12) of the Kurdish protestors were killed in a non-Kurdish province such as Tehran, Khuram Aabad and Quchan.
The KMMK-G provides the list of the victims upon demand. It is worth noting that most of Kurdish cities have double names, a Persian-official name and a Kurdish one.
In the period between 16 September 2022 until 29th November 2022, at least, the names one hundred (100) Kurdish protestors have been identified and confirmed by KMMK-G to have been wounded by Iranian security forces’ direct shootings. Five (5) of the victims are women.
- Forty (40) of the victims are from Sine or Kurdistan province,
- Fifty-four (54) of the victims are from Wermê or Western Azerbaijan province,
- Three (3) of the victims is from Kermashan or Kermanshah province,
- Three (3) of the victims are from Ilam.
According to several eyewitnesses, many of the injured protestors did not seek care from governmental health centers due to fear of reprisals and detentions. A protestor who fled outside the country reported to KMMK-G that he was shot on the 22th of September in a Kurdish city during the first round of the protests by direct shootings of the security forces. He was then taken to a private house and got medical care from a medical doctor hours after he was shot. Videos of ambulances taking the protestors to detention facilities have gone viral on social media.
An estimated number of 6500 Kurdish protestors are reported injured during the past 12 weeks and received care in private houses by private doctors. There have also been reports of confiscations of medicaments by Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ check points to Kurdish cities. Indeed, people brought medicaments from Tehran to Kurdistan but in the entrance checkpoints to cities in Kurdistan such as Mahabad the IRCG checkpoints confiscated medicaments and interrogated the medicaments owners about the destinations of the medicaments.
Since the 16th of September, KMMK-G has been able to register the names of one thousand four hundred and eighteen (1418) Kurdish protestors detained by Iranian security forces. One hundred seventy (170) of them are women and one thousand two-hundred and forty-eight (1248) are men.
- Five-hundred and seventeen (517) of the protestors detained are from Sine or Kurdistan province,
- Four hundred eighty-five (485) of them are from Wermê or Western Azerbaijan province,
- Two hundred forty-two (242) are from Kermashan or Kermanshah province,
- One hundred seventy-four (174) are from Ilam,
- Thirty-one (31) of the detainees are under 18 years of age and 4 of them are only 14 years old.
The detainees are subjected to severe forms of physical and mental torture including blackmail, sexual abuse and/or threats of it, manipulation, and infliction of physical suffering such as breakage of legs and hands. See also this CNN report with witnesses: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2022/11/middleeast/iran-protests-sexual-assault/index.html.
According to several detainees who were released and interviewed by KMMK-G, the prisons in Kurdistan provinces are full and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence (Itela’at) forces are using basements and housing buildings with individual rooms to detain protestors. The protestors undergo severe physical and mental torture by IRGC in these facilities.
A woman protestor who was arrested twice since the recent nationwide protests and released by paying a heavy bail, told KMMK-G: “I was detained and confined to a solitary cell in Itla’at (IRGC Intelligence) facility. This is a place where detainees are not transferred to the judiciary system, and they undergo beatings and torture. Later, I was taken to a building, which looked like a house and again I was held in a solitary cell. There are many houses in town with individual rooms and many protestors are held there.”
Two student protestors who were detained in a basement for one week also declared to KMMK-G that they “were held for a week in a huge basement full of protestors”. They “were beaten by cables and iron sticks”.
The detainees include, but are not limited to, ordinary citizens, women activists, rights activists, environmental activists, journalists, teachers, workers, university and school students, singers, and athletes.
Ms. Waran MOHAMMDINAJAD, a student in Arts University in Yazd and a member of Nojin Cultural Association, was detained in her home without prior warning on 13th of October 2022. She is a colleague of Ms. Zara MOHAMMADI a Kurdish teacher from Nojin Cultural Association who is serving a five years sentence in Sanadaj Central Prison for teaching Kurdish language. On Wednesday 19th of October that Ms. Waran has started a hunger strike protesting his prisons conditions and her unlawful detention.
Saman Yasin Seyedi a young Kurdish Yarasani faith rapper and musician, aged 27, from Kermanshah (Kermashan in Kurdish), was arrested and held in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on 2nd of October 2022 in relations to nationwide protests.
On 29th October 2022, following a 11 minutes trial conducted by disreputable juge Salavati in charge of Tehran’s Islmaic Revolutionary Court (branch 15), Saman Yasin was charged with “moharebeh” or ” waging war against God,” in a hazily-defined offenses which carry the death penalty.
As of the 30th of November, at least 448 protestors including 61 children and 30 women have been confirmed killed by the Iranian security forces’ shootings in the nationwide protests.
And at least, one hundred twenty-five (125) Kurdish protestors including 13 minors and 8 women were killed.
According to Baloch Activist Campaign, by the 30th of November 2022, 130 Baluchi citizens were killed by Iranian security forces.
Over half of the total number of victims of the nationwide protests in Iran are Baluchi’s and Kurds and this shows the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against minorities in ethnic territories.
The Iranian Kurdistan has been the scene of resistance and defiance against the regime since its inception in 1979. Since then, Kurdistan has been perceived, framed and treated as a hostile group by Iranian state and its media. The level of repression has been historically higher than any other part of Iran.
Under international laws, the minorities have a right to protection, and we call on the international community to urgently take action to prevent the massacre of Kurdish people and other minorities in Iran.