In Iran, mass demonstrations in Baluchestan -- and beyond

Iran's nationwide uprising entered its 163rd day on Saturday in different parts of the country against the mullahs' brutal dictatorship.

The Iranian opposition MEK has published the names of 17 more martyrs of the February 25 nationwide uprising. So far, the names of 664 martyrs have been published.

 Mass demonstrations in Baluchistan

On Friday, February 24, the 162nd day of the nationwide uprising, the brave people of Zahedan held demonstrations after Friday prayers for the 21st week after the Zahedan Bloody Friday. The demonstrations took place despite the unannounced imposition of martial law, deployment of snipers, siege of the Makki mosque and widespread arrests.

They chanted: "Death to the clerical rule of aggression and crimes," "I promise the blood of our comrades, we will stand till the end," "Basiji, IRGC, are the same as ISIS," and "I will kill the one who killed my brother."

The demonstrators carried placards that read "Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Leader (Khamenei)", "Neither monarchy nor leadership (Khamenei)", "We are a nation that has not bowed to any dictator" and "They thought they had killed Mahsa, Nika and Khodanour, not knowing that they were the seeds of the revolution."

Repressive forces equipped with heavy weapons and snipers were stationed on the heights around the Makki Mosque, and IRGC plainclothes forces attempted to enter the Makki Mosque through the roof but were blocked by the mosque guards.

Since Wednesday, State Security Forces (SSF) motorcyclists have been sent to Zahedan from neighboring towns. The regime has completely shut down the internet in Zahedan to prevent any media coverage. In the town of Khash, repressive forces were stationed around the Al Khalil mosque, the site of Friday prayers, to prevent demonstrations, but their repressive measures failed in the face of the will of the people of Zahedan.

On February 22, SSF agents killed and tortured Ebrahim Rigi, 24, a doctor from Baluchi who had been arrested on October 13 for treating people wounded in the uprising. He was released on bail on January 1, but rearrested and beaten at District 12 police station on February 21, resulting in his death. Forensic doctors confirmed that Ibrahim died from his injuries after being beaten and injured inside the police station.

Resistance units carry out 320 activities against the repression

During the Iranian month of Bahman, from January 21 to February 21 on the Western calendar, resistance units affiliated with the the pro-democracy group MEK carried out 320 actions against the crackdown across the country, including targeting IRGC and paramilitary Basij bases, setting fire to symbols of the regime and pictures of its leaders, including Khamenei and Raisi.

In response to the death of Mrs. Zorbi Bei Ismail Zehi, a martyr of the Zahedan uprising, and in continuation of their anti-repression campaign, young insurgents carried out a dozen courageous activities on February 23. They set fire to Bassij militia centres in Tehran and Isfahan and an anti-cultural center of the regime in Shahryar. They also set fire to signs and banners with portraits of Khomeini, Khamenei and Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak and Shahryar. Mrs. Zarbi in Ismail Zehi was one of the injured on Bloody Friday in Zahedan. A pasdaran bullet severed her spinal cord.  She died on February 20 after surviving 143 days with injuries.

Chain and intentional poisoning of schoolgirls replaces and complements the vice patrol

In addition, the poisoning of girls' schools, which began in Qom on November 30, affecting 12 schools, continued in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Tehran, and has spread to Boroujerd and Isfahan this week.

"On Tuesday night, 20 high school girls from Ahmadiyeh High School in Boroujerd were poisoned and taken to the emergency room. The second incident was reported in the emergency room on Wednesday morning in the same high school, but this time the number of poisoned students was 62." (This is from the official Hamshahri website of February 23).

Two and a half months after the serial poisoning of girls' school students in Qom and after continuous denials and publication of false news, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the regime's Prosecutor General, wrote to the Qom Prosecutor on February 20: "News about an alarming trend of some kind of poisoning in some schools in Qom indicates the possibility of intentional criminal acts" (This is from official media of Feb. 20, 2023).

 All the evidence shows that the target is schoolgirls and that the ruling criminal gangs are using these heinous actions to replace or supplement the so-called vice patrol and to spread terror, especially among women. The aim is to prevent them from participating in social uprisings and demonstrations.

Image: Monica Showalter 

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