In the month of September, Iran witnessed anti-regime protests following the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody. These protests are still active with the passing of 21 days.
Mahsa Amini was from Saqqez in Kurdistan, who accompanied her family on a trip to Tehran. The morality police arrested her on September 13, 2022, when she was beaten in the head that caused fracture to her skull. Mahsa went into coma with a brain hemorrhage. She died after three days in a hospital.
Mahsa Amini’s death sparked widespread protests and by triggering public fury, it fueled the spread of protests to 170 cities across Iran.
Only in Tehran, women, youth, and unsatisfied people protested in 1,058 points. More than 100 universities across Iran have become the scene of student protests and rallies. In recent days, high school students have also joined nationwide protests. Shopkeepers and business owners in Kurdistan joined the protests from day one, leading to similar strikes in Tehran and other cities.
Although these protests started with the death of Mahsa Amini and against the brutal act of the morality patrols, slogans chanted by protesters quickly targeted the entire dictatorial regime. People chanted the overthrow of the regime and called for the release of political prisoners. Overall, they wanted their fundamental right to freedom.
The Iranian regime responded to all the protests with brutal crackdown.
According to reliable sources, at least 400 people were killed by state security forces and hundreds of others were injured in these protests. The prisons in Iran are full of detained protesters exceeding 20,000.
The identities of almost 200 of those killed have been confirmed so far.
Massacre in Zahedan
On September 30, 2022, Zahedan witnessed a mass killing.
While the locals were performing Friday prayers, gun shots could be heard. A crowd of Baluchi youths had gathered in front of the police station near the mosque chanting against the murder of Mahsa Amini. They also showed anger towards the rape and murder of a young Baluchi girl by a police commander in their province.
State security forces and plainclothes agents opened fire on the people and worshipers with live ammunition. Tear gas was fired at women and men inside the mosque that killed one woman.
Worshipers inside the mosque had not taken any part in the protest.
Armed plainclothes agents were stationed on the roofs, shooting at anyone trying to return home. Most protesters were shot in the head and heart, proving snipers were taking aim. The death toll in Zahedan has exceeded 91.
Sharif University of Technology
On Sunday, October 2, 2022, students at Sharif University of Technology gathered on campus to protest the arrest of Sharif University students during nationwide protests. But state security and plainclothes agents surrounded Sharif University and opened fire on students who tried to leave the university.
The agents also trapped students in the university’s parking lot and fired tear gas and metal pellets at them.
State-run media reported at least 60 students arrested during this incident at Sharif University of Technology.
The siege at Sharif University of Technology was broken by large numbers of citizens and students from other universities who gathered outside calling on security forces to open the gates and release the students.
In September, 49 death penalties were carried out. Twenty-six including a female prisoner, were executed on murder charges. 19 were executed on drug related charges and 4 others were accused of waging war on God.
Torture and cruel punishments
Two amputation sentences were carried out in September.
Four fingers of 28-year-old Morteza Jalili, a prisoner accused of theft, was carried out on September 5, 2022, in Evin Prison.
Also, four fingers of Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were amputated on September 1, 2022, in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj. His defense lawyer and family members were not informed.
Maziar Shah Bakhsh, a Baluch juvenile detainee, was reportedly transferred from Zahedan Correctional Center to IRGC intelligence detention center on August 30, 2022. He remained under torture and interrogation for a week to extract false confessions from him.
Hunger strikes by political prisoners, including one woman, was recorded in September.
Jailed Iranian civil activist Behnam Mousivand was beaten and transferred from Evin Prison to solitary confinement at Rajaiishahr Prison in Karaj. He held a 23-day hunger strike to protest his abrupt transfer. He refused sugar and salt and only drank water. When his family visited him, he was in a wheelchair.
Ebrahim Seddiq Hamedani, a 74-year-old political prisoner imprisoned in Marivan Prison, started a hunger strike on Friday, September 2, 2022. He protested the authorities’ false promise to transfer him and his son Salar Seddiq Hamedani to Urmia Prison.
On Friday, September 8, 2022, political prisoner Arjang Davoudi, 79, went on a food and medicine strike. Arjang protested to pressures brought upon him and urged to be transferred to a secure ward. Due to his severe illness, he cannot bear the conditions of solitary confinement.
Hashem Moradi, a 40-year-old political prisoner, went on a hunger strike by sewing his lips on September 13, 2022. He protested his being deprived of his right to furlough.
Retired teacher and political prisoner Zeinab Hamrang, 46 years old, suffers from various diseases. She was brutally beaten by 6 male and female prison guards on September 14, 2022, when protesting the violation of prisoners’ separation of crimes. She was taken to Evin Prison’s quarantine, where she went on hunger strike to refuse the authorities’ brutal behavior and not complying to segregation of crime rules.
Prisoners deprived of medical care
Political prisoner Hamed Qareh Oghlani, who suffers from epilepsy, has been deprived of proper medical attention in Urmia Central Prison.
Kurdish political prisoner in Naqadeh Prison, Ismail Mohammadpour, suffers heart conditions. He has been denied access to medical care and possible medical leave. He has neither been allowed transfer to a medical center.
Female political prisoner Zohreh Sarv, whose infection caused by the Coronavirus remains in her body, was returned to the women’s ward of Evin Prison without completing her treatment process.
Reza Shahabi, a well-known Trade Unionist, who is suffering neck pain and needs to do MRI, remains in a limbo state in the quarantine of Evin Prison.
The young political prisoner Forough Taghipour who is held in the women’s ward of Evin Prison requires urgent medical attention. She needs to be visited by a specialist to undergo operation for her digestive problem. With deliberate delay in sending her to hospital, her condition has become acute. The prison officials refuse to send her to hospital in decent manner, without her being chained.
Golareh Abbasi, a woman political prisoner in Evin, suffered a heart attack. On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, despite her physical condition, she was denied transfer to hospital as she refused having shackles.
Alireza Farshi, a Turkish (Azerbaijani) activist who was on medical leave from Tehran Central Prison, was transferred to Evin Prison before his treatment was complete.
During nationwide protests of September 20, 2022, telephone calls in Evin Prison have been cancelled. Prisoners can no longer call their families, which has turned into great concern for them.
Suppression of religious minorities
During September, there were at least 17 cases of arrested Baha’is. 14 of the arrestees had also been deprived of education rights. This statistic does not include Bahai citizens who had been summoned by the state.
78-year-old Baha’i citizen Attaullah Zafar was first sent to Evin Prison’s clinic on Sunday, September 4, 2022, as his health condition worsened. He was then taken to Taleghani Hospital in Tehran with his hands and feet chained to the hospital bed.
Maliheh Nazari, a Christian convert, began serving her time in Evin Prison. Another Christian citizen, Joseph Shahbazian, was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison after reporting to Evin Prison prosecutor’s office.
Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court had previously sentenced Ms. Nazari to 6 years imprisonment and Mr. Shahbazian to 10 years jail with certain social exclusions.