Protesters in Iran’s Zahedan encounter gunfire following Friday prayers- Pro Teachs
Protesters encountered teargas and gunfire following Friday prayers in the eastern Iranian city of Zahedan, according to videos posted on social media and provided by IranWire, an activist website.
Automatic gunfire can be heard in the videos, which also show protesters picking up bullet casings on the ground.
According to a video posted on 1500tasvir, at least one 12-year-old boy was shot.
Responding to news of the clash, United Nations Secretary General spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday that the international body is “increasingly concerned about the reports of rising fatalities” of protestors in Iran.
“Today, a number of protesters were reportedly killed in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province,” he said. “We condemn all incidents that have resulted in death or serious injury to protestors and reiterate that security forces must avoid all unnecessary or disproportionate use of force against peaceful protestors. Those responsible must be held to account.
The Sistan and Baluchistan security council said security forces and civilians were injured after being shot by “unknown people,” according to state media.
Protesters threw rocks at security forces and chanted “death to Khamenei,” referring to Iran’s supreme leader, according to video posted on 1500tasvir.
State-run IRNA news agency reported that protesters set fire to tires and chanted anti-government slogans.
A heavy security presence was seen moving into the city before the start of prayers on Friday, according to video posted on social media.
Zahedan is located in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, which neighbors Pakistan and is home to the Baluch ethnic minority. The region has a history of unrest and violence with armed groups carrying out attacks against Iranian security personnel.
Zahedan saw large protests on September 30 against the alleged rape of a Baluch girl by a police chief, according to Baluch Activists Campaign.
The Sistan and Baluchistan province security committee removed the head of police in Zahedan and the head of police precinct 16 on Thursday, according to state-run IRNA.
Internet connectivity has been disrupted regionally in the province, according to internet watchdog NetBlocks on Friday.
“Metrics show that internet connectivity has been disrupted regionally in #Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, #Iran, amid reports that several protesters have been shot by security forces,” NetBlocks said in a tweet.
Demonstrations have also taken place in the cities of Saravan, Iranshahr, Chabahar and Nikshahr after Sunni Friday prayers, according to state-run IRNA.
The protests come amid nationwide demonstations following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police,” sparking outrage among Iranians who took to the streets to demand more freedoms.