Suppression and Government Crackdown in Iran
Many cities in Iran have been up protesting this week with a completely new atmosphere, as the main media has also reported. Government suppression and crackdown was heavy according to amateur videos. Plainclothes agents beat and arrested unarmed protesters in an attempt to instill fear and prevent further protests.
As a result, a young protester Reza Otadi was directly shot and killed by security forces on August 3 in Gohardasht, Karaj.
Isfahan riot police had a heavy presence in the city’s main streets and attacked a large protesting group under a city bridge. On the third day of protests, riot police shot tear gas and even pellet guns at protesters. As a reply to protesters throwing rocks, the police used live bullets and a young protester was shot in the leg.
Protesters in Shahin Shahr, Isfahan took a lot from Basij forces belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The forces clashed with people and severely beat them for holding protests.
Security forces shot bullets in the air to disperse Qahdarijan protesters.
Karaj Basij forces also attacked protesters on the streets and shot tear gas. They would come for protesters at night by marching in large groups of riot police on foot. These groups were assisted by police on motorcycles to create an atmosphere of fear. They shouted slogans in favor of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader while attacking protesters.
Another young man was shot in the arm on August 3 with live bullets and taken to a hospital.
On days following the week of protest, around 100 undercover agents mixed with protesters wearing masks. The operative agents were Basij forces and the intelligence who had a mission to arrest people. Those arrested would be taken to pre-stationed buses with their shirts turned over their heads.
All the streets leading to Gohardasht were barricaded with cement barrier blocks. Cameras were set up in various areas to identify protesters. Security forces threatened store owners near to protesting locations in Gohardasht to close their shops.
Plainclothes agents carried various kinds of weapons under their clothes to injure and beat protesters.
The internet was slowed down to the extent that nothing could be sent out, and after a while, it was completely cut off.
In Shiraz, security forces attacked protesters with tear gas which hit a seven-year-old boy on the street. The government used water cannons at night to disperse the crowds that came to protest. On proceeding days security forces patrolled areas on motorcycles to scare people off. They would ride motorcycles in twos to attack protesters. The plan was to keep protesters occupied so undercover agents could go into the crowds and detain protesters.
In Tehran’s Valiasr Square, security forces attacked and arrested a number of protesters. Later in the week when protests heated up, police arrested a number of men and women. There was a heavy security presence in most areas of the capital. Police arrested those with cellphones filming the scenes and attacked demonstrators with Tasers and batons, especially women.
Internet lines were initially slowed down until they were completely cut off at night for a few hours.
Government agents in Ahvaz simply attacked people for standing in small groups on the street.
The Rasht security forces and riot police severely beat protesters using their batons and electric shockers (Tasers). They managed to injure a number of people protesting.
Police in Mashhad came both on foot and on motorcycles to shoot tear gas at protesters and detain them.
On August 6 U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tweeted “Violence by the Iranian regime against its own people is unacceptable. Iranians have a right to oppose a regime that commits billions to support brutal dictators and terrorists abroad, while its people cry out for jobs, opportunity, and liberty. We stand with the Iranian people!”
The United Nations’ Farhan Haq once again emphasize protesters rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly that needs to be respected by all including the security forces.