According to rights organizations, Iranian security forces on Monday stepped up a crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of 12 people in the previous 24 hours by using heavy weapons to quell protests in Kurdish populated areas of western Iran.
Since the beginning of the movement, which was sparked by the death of young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by morality police in Tehran, in September, the provinces of western and northwestern Iran with a large Kurdish population have served as major hubs of protest.
In recent days, there have been particularly ferocious anti-regime protests in a number of towns, mostly spurred by the funerals of those allegedly slain by security forces during earlier rallies.
The Hengaw rights organization, located in Norway, claimed that Iranian forces had shelled the cities of Piranshahr, Marivan, and Javanroud, sharing footage with the sound of live gunfire and the thud of heavy weapons.
It claimed that over the previous 24 hours, security forces had killed 13 people in the area, including seven in Javanroud, four in Piranshahr, and two more in other places.
Karwan Ghader Shokri, 16, was one among six persons murdered on Sunday by gunfire from the security forces, according to Hengaw.
As the teenager’s body was being transported to the mosque, security personnel opened fire on the crowd, killing another man, it was stated. The situation in Mahabad continues to raise concerns, which led to the most recent violence.
Activists warn Iran was preparing to employ the death penalty to stifle the protest movement by instilling terror among the populace.
The pursuit of the death penalty by the government, according to Amnesty, is “intended to intimidate those taking part in the popular uprising… and discourage others from joining the movement.”
The strategy aims to “instill fear among the public,” it added, condemning a “chilling escalation in the use of the death penalty as a tool of political repression and the systematic violation of fair trial rights in Iran.” Attacks on Iraq’s northern Kurdistan area were denounced.