Protesters were warned by the commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards not to go out to demonstrate, and Saturday will be the “last day” to take to the streets.
“Do not go to the streets!” Hossein Salami stated that today is the end of the riots.
This warning comes amid reports of two deaths in protests against Iranian security forces firing on protesters in a city in the southeastern part of Iran on Friday.
National demonstrations have been taking places following the death last month of 22-year old Mahsa who was taken into police custody for violating the country’s strict dress code.
The most violent violence has been witnessed in Zahedan, Iran’s Sistan province and Baluchestan provincial, bordering Afghanistan on the Gulf of Oman. It is located in Iran’s Sistan region and Baluchestan Province.
Soldiers surrounded a Sunni mosque in Zahedan, where protestors were gathering against the Iranian government. They also shot at activists, activists claimed.
HalVash videos showed protestors chanting “Death To the Basiji”, which refers to the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard that is responsible only to Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Muhammad Khamenei.
Also, footage appeared to show tear gas and what appeared like used rifle cartridges being used on the streets. Later, it was shown streaks of blood on tiles and bloody palm prints at the Zahedan’s Makki Grand Mosque courtyard. Activists claimed they were afraid two people were killed.
“Police officers, please open access for worshippers,” the voice heard over the mosque’s loudspeakers asked. “Don’t cause trouble so people can go home.”
NetBlocks, an internet advocacy group, stated that they believe online access has been blocked in the city.
Online reports from state television stated that one person was killed in Zahedan, and 14 were injured. The shooting was not reported by the state television.
Friday’s condemnation by the United Nations of “all incidents that resulted in the death or serious injury of protesters in Iran” was echoed by “that security forces must refrain from any unnecessary or disproportionately use force against peaceful protesters.”
Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesperson, stated that “Those responsible must being held to account” and added that Iran was being urged by the UN to address “the legitimate grievances the population, including women’s rights.”
In Zahedan, demonstrations were held calling for change in response to a rape case against a senior officer.
According to activists, close to 100 people were killed in Zahedan since the violent police response to a rally that took place in the city on September 30th.
Sistan and Baluchestan’s security committee had earlier issued a statement on Friday stating that Zahedan’s police chief and another officer were fired for their handling of the protests on September 30th.
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This statement was the first to admit that police killed and shot people praying at a mosque nearby at the time.
According to the security council, 150 protestors, including armed men attacked a police station and tried to seize it during the demonstrations.
It stated that the “armed conflict and police shooting” led to the deaths of many worshippers and innocent passersby who did not play any role in the unrest.
The statement claims that 35 people were killed. However, activists believe that three times as many were killed by security forces who allegedly fired from helicopters on protestors.
Online evidence shows what’s going on in Iran: Mass protests, government buildings being attacked and attacks
The country is governed by a theocratic government. This means that its laws and precepts are based on religion.
Since the 2009 Green Movement protests, the Iranian government has been under the most severe threat from the protests. International pressure is being applied to Iran’s government over its treatment for protesters.
Demonstrations focus on women’s rights, the state-mandated headscarf and calls to expel Shiite clerics from Iran.
According to Human Rights Activists Iran, the demonstrations involved more than 125 cities. At least 270 people were killed and almost 14,000 were arrested.