Iran’s security forces shot and killed at least two men from Iran’s disadvantaged Baluchi ethnic minority.
The state security forces opened fire on two Baluch citizens riding a motorcycle in Saravan, southeastern Iran yesterday, killing one man and injuring another. In another incident in Minab, southern Iran, security forces shot and killed a man carrying fuel.
According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, the man killed while riding a motorcycle was identified as Naser Fazeli, and the identity of the injured citizen riding with him is unknown.
“Naser was killed, but his niece/nephew was severely injured and transferred to the hospital by locals,” an informed source said.
In Minab, a man identified as Khalil Sarmasti was shot by Iran’s security forces while driving today. He was carrying fuel. According to the report, his car swerved from the road after the shooting and caught fire. Khalil died at the scene but the other man in the car survived the incident.
Video showing the fire and the aftermath of the incident was shared on social media. According to the report, security forces did not ask Khalil to stop before opening a barrage of bullets at his car.
Dozens of Baluchi citizens including innocent bystanders, are killed every year in what the authorities call “anti-smuggling operations” in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
There are common reports of police and border guards opening fire on civilians carrying fuel in southeastern Iran.
Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Sistan and Baluchestan is one of Iran’s poorest provinces. There are no jobs in the area and even educated people have to resort to smuggling fuel to make a living.
Those living in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province are facing untold social and economic problems because of longstanding deprivation and poverty, which is becoming worse as inequality becomes more pronounced.
Some have even fled the province for neighboring Kerman, which itself is one of the poorest provinces in the country, where the Baluch people live in tents, with no electricity or running water.
On September 5, 2020, Ali Khezrian, a member of the Parliament (Majlis), said: “We traveled to the city of Iranshahr, the second-largest city in southeast Iran, and visited its villages. Unfortunately, the people of this area are deprived of facilities, such as showers and toilets. There were no suitable electricity facilities in the villages.”