Demonstrations in Iran’s Kurdish cities met with military violencePublished by International Liberty on May 10, 2015
Demonstrations that started in the Iranian Kurdish city of Mahabad following the death of 25 year old Farinaz Khosrawani, have turned to violent clashed with state security forces.
According to reports Farinaz Khosrawani, an employee of the Tara Hotel in Mahabad, a mostly Kurdish city in northwestern Iran, leaped to her death from the fourth floor of the hotel building to avoid being sexually assaulted by a state security officer, eyewitnesses have said.
Khosrawani’s death sparked demonstrations and violent clashes with security officers in Mahabad.
Although the local government declared a state of emergency and Iran’s security forces and its Revolutionary Guards deployed units to Mahabad to control the situation Thursday, residents have continued to demonstrate. Saturday marked the third day protesters have taken to the streets to call for justice and the prosecution of the military officer. At least 25 people had been reported wounded since Thursday.
The Mahabad protests inspired Kurds living in Iraq, Syria and Turkey to demonstrate themselves. Kurds across the three countries marched in their respective cities, holding signs with the phrase “JusticeForFarinaz”.
While locals were protesting in Mahabad, thousands of academics and teachers gathered in Iranian capital Tehran this week to call for better wages and the release of Rasoul Bodaghi, a teacher who has been imprisoned for five years on charges of propaganda and collusion, multiple media outlets reported.
At least 6,000 people were at the demonstrations in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the teachers’ protests were “conspiracies of the enemies and vengeful people against the Islamic regime,” media outlets reported.
Despite the violence in Mahabad, the Iranian government has not issued a public statement on the situation.
Amnesty International has called on the Iranian government to scale back its violence against protesters and its detention of innocent civilians.