A protester in the Kurdish-majority city of Marivan in western province of Kordestan on November 6, 2022

Tehran Residents Hold Protests Backing Kurdish, Baluch Cities

Sunday, 11/06/2022

The nationwide antigovernment protests in Iran continued Sunday with intense clashes in the Kurdish-majority city of Marivan following the death of another young Kurdish woman. 

Following the funeral service for Nasrin Ghaderi -- a PhD candidate in philosophy who died on Saturday after being beaten by security forces with batons during Friday protests in Tehran -- the outraged citizens in the city of Marivan held rallies and chanted slogans against the Islamic Republic’s ruler, Ali Khamenei. Kurdish cities in western Iran have been a hotbed of anti-government protests after Mahsa Amini, who was also Kurdish, was killed by police in mid-September.

Nasrin Ghaderi

Until well into the night, the streets of Marivan were scenes of clashes while continuously shots were heard in videos posted on social media, while protesters set fire to tires and city trash cans as their only weapon against government forces. In some videos, people are also seen hurling stones at the city hall. 

People in other Kurdish cities, such as Kermanshah and Sanandaj, were also out in the streets, chanting antigovernment slogans. 

Other cities throughout the country, from the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Sabzevar to the southwestern city of Ahvaz as well as the central city of Esfahan (Isfahan) and capital Tehran were also scenes of protest rallies or clashes between people and security forces. 

In one video from Ahvaz, a young man is seen setting fire to a base of Basij paramilitary forces and fleeing while waving the victory sign. 

Fars news agency, affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said earlier in the day that the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization had identified and dismantled “a terrorist team” backed by a European country in Ahvaz, the capital of the southwestern oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

People in many neighborhoods of the capital also held protest rallies, chanting slogans such as “This is the year of blood, When Seyyed Ali will be gone” and “Death to dictator,” referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In a video, people are seen saving one protester from agents who want to arrest him. 

People in Tehran also expressed support for the citizens of Kurdish cities as well as the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan after at least 16 people were killed by security forces on November 4. The provincial capital Zahedan is the city where the bloodiest crackdowns have been taking place since the start of the current wave of protests with security forces frequently using assault rifles to quash the rallies

According to Tasnim news, a media outlet with links to the IRGC, protesters in Khash, another city in the province with a high number of casualties – most of them children – fought back with guns and killed a regime agent. 

Sistan and Baluchestan is a Sunni-majority province in predominantly Shiite Iran. Zahedan, close to Iran's southeastern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to a Baluch people estimated to number up to two million. They have faced discrimination and repression for decades, according to human rights groups.

Schoolgirls during the protests in Zahedan

Molavi Abdolhamid, the religious leader of Iran’s Sunni Baluch population, called for an internationally monitored referendum on Friday, saying by killing and suppression the government cannot push back a nation. Earlier in October he blamed Iran's ruler Ali Khamenei for the Bloody Friday killings September 30 and called for accountability.

The Islamic Republic has killed over 300 including 41 children and 24 women since then during protests. 

Concurrent with the protests on the streets, students at many universities also held protests on Sunday while strikes take place in dozens of industrial centers across the country.

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