In Iran, Kurdish regions in the crosshairs of fierce repression

On Monday, October 10, for the third consecutive day, Sanandaj, the capital of the Iranian Kurdistan province in western Iran, was the scene of anti-power demonstrations and fierce repression, making this city the beating heart of the uprising. in progress. Internet was cut there until midnight local time (22:30 Paris time). Before that, almost no messages or images had left the area, while during the weekend of October 8 and 9, the crackdown killed at least four people, some with live ammunition, unlike cities like Tehran, where rubber bullets are used in abundance. The number of residents arrested is significant but remains impossible to pin down, including protesters, human rights activists and journalists.

The uprising in Iran, which began on September 16 after the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, following her arrest by the morality police in Tehran, has entered its fourth week. According to Iran Human Rights, an organization based in Oslo, at least 185 people were killed by military (Revolutionary Guards) and police deployed by the regime. According to Kurdistan Human Rights Network, the organization based in Paris, in the Kurdish regions, the toll would be 30 victims. According to the official government newspaper, Iran, As of October 8, 24 members of the security forces reportedly died in “unrest”.

Also read: In Iran, state TV is hacked as anti-power protests enter their fourth week

“In recent days, I have been in Sanandadj, in Marivan [une autre ville kurde] and in Tehran. I only witnessed the use of firearms, such as Kalashnikovs, in the two Kurdish cities, and that from the first days of the demonstrations.explains Soheil (a pseudonym at the request of the person in question), a protester living in the capital of Iranian Kurdistan, contacted by encrypted Telegram messages. In Sanandaj, they blindly shot people when they had no weapons and only stones to defend themselves. »

On the street, on Saturday, October 8, Soheil was able to observe a strong presence of security forces, sometimes dressed in civilian clothes, since the morning. “They quickly started shooting people. This set fire to the gunpowder. The locals were furioussupports Soheil. I saw a man, shot in the head, die at the wheel of his car. Like many others, he honked his horn in protest. They were shooting live ammunition at us. As if we and they did not belong to the same country. »

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