Call for action to release detained Iranian protestersPublished by Farzad on January 8, 2018
According to reports from Iran nearly 3000 protesters have been arrested and more than 40 people have been killed by security forces over the 11 days of demonstrations. One detainee is reported to have died in prison. More than 90% of the detained protesters are juveniles with an average age under 25.
In the Majlis (Parliament), a member of the Committee on Education and Research claimed that 90 university students have been arrested, while he confirmed that “there is no accurate information on the number of detainees”.
On Saturday night, 6 January, on the tenth day of the uprising, a large crowd gathered in front of the governorate in Kiashahr district of Khuzestan province and chanted “political prisoners must be freed”.
Demonstrations have taken place in many parts of Iran with slogans of ‘Down with dictator, down with Khameni’, since 27 December 2017.
The officials in Iran have been blaming Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries for the demonstrations. However, a political analyst in state media acknowledged that Iranian protesters are disgusted by the regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Sadegh Zibakalam has written an open letter to Ali Shamkhani, secretary of regime’s Supreme National Security Council, who claimed the protests are ignited by foreigners. In the letter Zibakalam has written: “I was surprised by your comments, attributing protests to Saudis. I was not aware that Saudi Arabia is so powerful that it can bring thousands of Iranian youth in the country’s small and big cities to the streets. I was however more sorry than surprised by your comments.”
“This is not the first time our authorities attribute popular protests to enemies’ conspiracies, and it won’t be the last. I don’t remember any other kind of reaction by our officials over the past 40 years”, wrote Zibakalam. “It would be much better if instead of accusing foreigners and the Goblin Kingdom and resorting to conspiracy theories and fictitious ideas you could get off your high horse and go to people who are fed up with your policies, asking them about their concerns, the reason for their rebellion and the purpose of their protest.”
Mistreatment of the detained protesters has been reported and one protester, Sina Ghanbari, 22, has died in detention in notorious Evin prison.
International Liberty Association calls on all human rights advocates and in particular the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take urgent and effective action to compel Iranian regime to stop the torture of prisoners and call for prompt release of all the detained protesters.