Hundreds of Iran’s security and IRGC Basij forces, attacked people Tuesday, when a crowd intervened to prevent them from destroying locals’ houses in west of the country.
The incident occurred in Falakdin neighborhood of Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan Province, when hundreds of security forces along with IRGC Basij members and municipality agents headed by the city’s prosecutor started to demolish the homes of locals who were unable to pay their property taxes.
Hundreds of repressive forces including the Special Unit and paramilitary Bassij forces supported by helicopter cover took part in this operation accompanied by municipal agents using scores of Graders and loaders and anti-riot trucks armed with water-canon.
The state forces beaten up people who refused to vacate their homes, injuring several elderlies under the houses’ rubble.
They demolished at least 11 houses, all of which belonged to the people who had lost their previous homes and all their property last year after the province was ravaged by flooding.
Khorram Abad W #Iran
Video shows the state security forces destroying the houses of locals because they could not afford to pay their property taxes. The city is one of the poorest regions in the country. pic.twitter.com/B1w6jzWQDj
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 15, 2020
The region is one of the most impoverished in Iran and the homeless families are now in grave danger considering the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
They had built these makeshift houses through their own means despite living in utter poverty and being deprived of any income.
Videos published on social media show locals hurling rocks and resisting against security forces.
Apr. 15 – Khoram Abad, W #Iran
Social media video shows locals hurling rocks at security forces. Reports indicate that state forces were trying to demolish their homes with bulldozers and loaders because they could not afford to pay their property tax. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/LmrmmZPAYi
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) April 15, 2020
The Special Units and Basij forces, used air shots to disperse them.
To justify the attack, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, the mayor of Khorramabad, told the state-run IRNA news agency, “Given the Coronavirus outbreak, and the focus of the offices and public services in trying to solve this crisis, some fixers tried to abuse the circumstances and had built (houses) without obtaining necessary permits…The municipality has only tried to impose the regulations and has not taken any action beyond the legal requirements.”