Human rights sources in Iran have revealed that the Iranian regime executed 22 people in October, including a woman who was not yet 18 at the time of the alleged crime. The regime also carried out a large wave of arrests among Arab truck drivers and teachers in Ahwaz, while prisons saw the widespread torture of political detainees.
A member of Human Rights Watch in Iran, who preferred not to be named, said: "The number of executions recorded in Iran in October was more than 22. These executions took place at prisons in Urmia, Birjand, Qazvin, Rajai Shahr, Shahrekord, Ferdows, Isfahan, Maraghe, Ilam, Shirvan in Khorasan, Sirjan, Zahedan, and Ardabil."
The source added: "The month of October witnessed the widespread arrest of Arab citizens in Ahwaz”. The source pointed to "the arrest of more than 261 truck drivers who joined the strike, while teachers were arrested following sit-ins called by the Teachers Union in protest against declining living standards."
The joint president of the Kurdistan Human Rights Society (KMMK), Jahankir Abdulhai, said, "The Iranian regime executed three Kurds in October, including Zeinab Sekaanvand, who was executed in Urmia prison despite being only 17 at the time of her alleged crime. Her case saw numerous legal violations and human rights breaches. Political activist Hidayat Abdullah Pur was also executed after being arrested in 2016."
The source pointed out that "the number of political detainees during the last month, as available from sources, was between 55 and 60," but it is expected that the figure is larger in Kermanshah and Ilam, where there is no accurate monitoring of cases of detention. Most of the arrests were in Urmia, Kermanshah, Sāna, Ilam and Lorestan, due to participation in protests and strikes by teachers and truck drivers in Kurdistan's cities and the Iranian provinces.
"There were eight cases of arbitrary killings in October, including seven Kurdish porters (kolbars) and one worker. About 20 people were injured in the border area between Iraq and Iran after they were attacked and shot by the Revolutionary Guard," he said.
He pointed to the detonation of mines among citizens "in the Kurdish areas, which injured three people who lost their limbs," stressing that danger still threatens the lives of people in areas near minefields, while the government is silent on any attempts to remove these mines.
"On October 15th, the guards at the central prison in Urmia attacked political prisoners, and beat them before transferring a number to solitary confinement. Then 70 political prisoners in sections 12 and 13 of the central prison in Urmia staged a hunger strike in protest against the attacks on their colleagues, some of whom were transferred to solitary confinement."
He said poor living conditions have led to an increase in the number of suicides. Last month, Kurdish areas witnessed 18 suicides, the majority of them because of the financial crisis and unemployment.
"The Iranian authorities launched a frantic campaign after the Ahvaz military parade attack on September 22nd," said Ahwazi researcher Yusuf Azizi, "it was reported that some 600 Ahwazi citizens, including civil society activists, were arrested by order of the Tehran government."
"The chauvinist regime is exploiting the Ahvaz military parade attack as well as US sanctions," said Azizi, adding that " the crackdown was not confined to Arabistan but also Tehran and other parts of Iran, where we saw the assassination of civilian activists in suspicious ways, such as the killing of Dr Haki in Tehran a few days ago. But the Persian opposition is more interested in Tehran than Arabistan because they are Arabs."
"The Iranian regime cannot survive the consequences of the sanctions in the medium and longer term because, despite the intensification of repression against ethnic groups, workers, teachers and journalists to silence their voices, it cannot eliminate all the protests that could develop into a larger movement after the regime's treasury runs out of hard currency, the recession and negative growth reach its peak, and when inflation is about 50%,” says Azizi.