Protests among Iran’s minorities

Another spiral of protests in Iran occurred on November 15, right after the rapid increase in prices for petrol and the imposition of limits on its distribution.
Protesters destroy both public and private property. In response, the authorities shoot the protesters with firearms, even though the UN asked them not to use live ammunition.

On November 29, the human rights organization “Amnesty International” estimated that, at least, 161 people were killed during the suppression of protests. However, right now, the number of killed is about hundreds of people, and thousands more, including women and children, sustained various injuries.
The protests and repression also spread to regions with a large concentration of minorities. Generally, ethnic minorities are the most vulnerable part of the population in Iran; they more often become subject to the regime’s repression, mass shootings, extrajudicial executions, and mass arrests, which are conventional methods applied by the Iranian authorities, mainly against Arabs and Baloch.
The protests also covered the areas, densely populated by Kurds and Azerbaijanis in the North and West-North of the country.
Our conversations with Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Ahwazi, and Baloch activists indicated that none of the sides has an accurate number of killed and arrested; the authorities do everything possible to avoid the spread of information. However, according to a documented report, even teenagers aged 12-13 were among those who died in the areas densely populated by the minorities.
There are also reports from Ahwaz about the use of machine guns against the protesters. According to the Ahwazi activists, in Bandar-e Mahshahr, in the district densely populated by Arabs, the IRGC forces opened indiscriminate fire with automatic weapons. A part of the protesters hid in the area, overgrown with the reeds, and the IRGC shelled this area with machine guns. More than 100 people were killed during this action.
According to Amnesty International Minority rights activists arrested include Akbar Mohajeri, Ayoub Shiri, Davoud Shiri, Babak Hosseini Moghadam, Mohammad Mahmoudi, Shahin Barzegar and Yashar Piri who were all arrested in their places of work in Tabriz, South Azerbaijan. Arab, Baloch, and Kurdish activists were also arrested. The relatives of the detained activists cannot obtain information about their fate and whereabouts; in some instances, they don’t even know if they are alive.
About 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on Nov. 15. The toll, provided to Reuters by three Iranian interior ministry officials, included at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women as well as some members of the security forces and police.

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