Face-Off in Iran: State Security Forces Attack Protesters on Day of Mourning for Mahsa Amini
UN Special Rapporteurs Echo Calls by Rights Groups for Action by Human Rights Council
Tehran Medical Council President, Deputy Resign One Day After Doctors Release Statement Condemning State Repression
Peaceful protesters faced off with heavily armed state security forces in dozens of cities across Iran on October 26, 2022, the 40th day since the death of Mahsa Amini (her Kurdish name was Zhina) in Tehran on September 16, just three days after she was arrested by the morality police.
Amini’s death, which was due to beatings according to her family, triggered nationwide, anti-state protests, which have been sprouting across the country ever since.
In one video shared on social media, a man was shown bleeding profusely from his head while lying on the ground, reportedly in the city of Zanjan.
State security forces, some with their faces fully covered and armed with shotguns, were also filmed shooting directly into crowded streets, including in Qazvin.
At the time of this writing, protests had occurred in more than 20 cities including in Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Rasht, Gorgan, Amol, Kerman, Tonekabon, Andimeshk, and Mahabad, according to information received by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
In Mashhad, state security forces had been swarming the streets since 10 a.m., a resident told CHRI.
Protests were also reported at 22 universities including in Tehran, Mashhad, Qazvin, Isfahan, Gilan, Tabriz, Babol, Ahvaz, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Zahedan, Damghan, Malayer, Arak, Yazd, and Hamadan, as well as at six university dormitories in Tehran, Tabriz, Rasht, and Karaj.
At Tehran University, video footage showed people ducking for cover outside the school’s dormitory as state security forces shot their weapons.
At Kurdistan University in Sanandaj, state security forces were filmed firing at protesting students including with pellets.
In a statement published today, 22 UN special rapporteurs condemned the government in Iran’s ongoing violent crackdown on protesters and echoed human rights groups’ calls for an international, independent investigation into ongoing human rights violations in Iran, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, gender-based and sexual violence, excessive use of force, torture, and enforced disappearances.
“In view of the gravity of the situation, the experts called on the Human Rights Council to urgently take necessary action to address the situation, including the organisation of a Special Session,” said the statement.
“They also supported calls for the establishment of an international investigative mechanism, to ensure accountability in Iran and to end the persistent impunity for grave human rights violations,” added the statement.
Protest at Tehran Medical Council Attacked, Chiefs Resign
The Tehran Medical Council’s president Moayed Alavian, and deputy president Mohammad Razi meanwhile resigned, one day after doctors who were members of the council had called for a gathering in Tehran today to protest security forces policing medical buildings in search of protesters. (Find a full translation of the doctors’ statement at the end of this article).
The gathering in Tehran, with doctors and dentists in attendance, was violently attacked by state security forces.
“…I went to the Doctor’s House to go to the Medical Council office and help organize the doctors’ gathering and witnessed a bitter and unforgettable scene,” said the council’s former deputy president, Mohammad Razi, in an Instagram post announcing his resignation.
“Dozens of motorcyclists and security officials [confronting] female doctors, and when I asked them to bring one of the female doctors—who was being dragged to the ground—into the organization, one of the commanders pushed me!” he added.
The 40th day of an individual’s death is always commemorated according to Islamic tradition, and today thousands gathered near the burial place of Amini in Saqqez, Kurdistan province, chanting slogans including “Death to the dictator!”
Videos shared on social media showed women waving their compulsory headscarves in the air.
Protesters faced heavily armed state security forces in Saqqez as well as the capital of Tehran, where protests continued late into the night in several neighborhoods.
Following is CHRI’s translation of a Persian-language statement by members of the Tehran Medical Council, which was published on October 25, 2022.
In the past month, we Iranians have witnessed unbelievable incidents that make every freedom-seeking person’s heartache.
As members of the Tehran Medical Council, we…
1- Condemn all forms of violence at every level of society and demand they be stopped,
2- Demand a stop to physical and psychological harming of society, especially children and teenagers,
3- Condemn the use of ambulances and other medical symbols for anything other than their intended purpose and call for an end to such practices for the restoration of public trust,
4- Demand a proper platform to provide medical services to all those injured in recent events without interference from the security forces in the treatment process,
5- Demand the protection of the secrecy of medical information belonging to injured individuals who come to medical centers – in accordance with domestic and international laws, as well as the Hippocratic Oath,
6- Demand a proper environment to listen to the people’s protests, without fear, in a safe environment,
7- Demand the independence of the Medical Council to prevent the erosion of public confidence,
8- Condemn the military, police, security, and unidentified forces for entering medical universities and hospitals and demand that they stop, and
9- Call for the protection of the detainees’ and their families’ physical, mental and spiritual health.
The vigilant but distraught medical community, while committed to the Hippocratic Oath, feels it has a duty not to rest until all demands are achieved.
A large gathering by members of the Tehran Medical Council will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at the council’s building in Tehran.
*Click here to read CHRI’s recommendations to the international community to help end the Iranian government’s violent suppression of protests in Iran.