| 13 June 2024, Thursday |

New protest erupts on streets of Iranian city

“Death to the dictator Khamenei” and “Unity, unity,” with these phrases Hundreds of Iranians took to the streets of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province.

The slogans echoed those chanted in nationwide protests over Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman of Kurdish origin who died in custody on Sept. 16. Amini, 22, had been arrested in Tehran by the morality police for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress code for women.

Two weeks later, in events dubbed “Bloody Friday,” security forces killed at least 93 people protesting in Zahedan over the rape of a teenage girl by a police commander.

Iranian authorities said on Friday that police had arrested at least 57 “rioters” after protesters threw rocks and attacked banks in the new demonstrations in Zahedan.

The activist news agency HRANA said 244 protesters, including 32 children, had been killed in more than a month of unrest. More than 12,500 people had been arrested in protests in 114 cities and towns and about 81 universities, it said.

Iranian teachers have called a two-day strike from Sunday over the lethal targeting of schoolchildren in the crackdown on protests.
“We know very well that the military and security forces and plainclothes officers have violated schools and educational centers,” the Coordinating Council of Teachers’ Syndicates said.

“During this systematic oppression, they have mercilessly taken the lives of a number of pupils and children.

“The rulers must know that … Iran’s teachers do not tolerate these atrocities and tyranny, and proclaims that we are for the people. These bullets and pellets you shoot at the people target our lives and souls.”

The union pledged to “continue our protest until the people’s right to protest is recognized, all pupils are unconditionally freed and return to schools, and the system stops killing the people and stops answering the people’s rightful demands with bullets.”

Amid a growing international outcry over Iran’s brutal repression of protesters, one leading cleric called for the regime in Tehran to be even tougher.

“The judiciary should deal with the rioters, who betrayed the nation and poured water into the enemy’s watermill, in such a way that others don’t again choose to riot,” hard-line imam Ahmad Khatami said in a Friday sermon in Tehran.

“They have deceived kids, and told them that if they stay on the streets for a week the regime will fall. Dream on!”

  • Arab News