Protests continued Monday with people out on streets chanting slogans and ironically celebrating the loss of their football team at the World Cup as the crackdown is becoming even more harrowing.
Monday was a day of mixed emotions for many Iranians while disturbing footage were released on social media showing the atrocious clampdown on protesters in Kurdish-majority regions as well as sparks of joy among people who – quite counterintuitively – were happy that the country’s national soccer squad suffered its worst ever defeat in a World Cup against England in Qatar.
In many cities across Iran – such as Zanjan, Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province, and as well as numerous neighborhoods in the capital Tehran, people poured into streets dancing and celebrating with slogans against the regime. Clashes were also reported on Monday night in the city of Karaj, near Tehran.
Many Iranians, who say the Team Melli does not represent the people of Iran but the clerical regime due to their lack of solidarity with the nationwide protests, held gatherings on Monday night and chanted slogans in support of the people in Kurdish cities, who have been struggling against a new level of regime violence, with heavy weapons being used to quell the rallies.
Players of the team, however, remained silent when the Islamic Republic anthem was played at the beginning of the match but people on social media say their show of support is too little, too late. Iranian fans at the stadium were shouting while the anthem was being played and some made thumbs-down gestures in an apparent act of protest against the Islamic Republic. In several videos posted on social media, people can also be heard cheering with each goal England scored. After the match, a group of Iranians held a gathering outside the stadium and chanted “Death to Khamenei.”
According to videos trickling online under a widespread Internet shutdown, the Islamic Republic has started using heavy weapons and modern antiriot techniques against the protesters in Kurdish cities.
In the past few days, the Islamic Republic has intensified its repression on Kurdish-majority cities and towns in western provinces of the country following reports that parts of some small towns have fallen into the people’s hands. The majority of Iran's 10 million Kurds live in the western parts of the country. It has also launched repeated attacks against Iranian Kurds sheltering in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Whenever people think the Islamic Republic’s inhumane acts cannot get any worse, some report of ruthlessness proves them wrong. In a report released on Monday, CNN revealed 11 cases of sexual violence against male and female protesters including boys, in Iranian detention centers, almost all of which occurred in Iran's Kurdish areas. It has also documented rapes that were taped for blackmail.
Confirming the veracity of the claims, one of CNN’s sources said about a case, “When she first came in, (the officers) said she was hemorrhaging from her rectum… due to repeated rape. The plainclothes men insisted that the doctor write it as rape prior to arrest.”
Also on Monday, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said “there will be no direct contact between the Parliament and Iranian officials until further notice,” adding that the Islamic Republic must stop its oppression of legitimate protests. In reaction to the death sentences imposed on protesters, Metsola urged Iranian authorities to “stop, here and now”.
Earlier in the month, The UN’s Third Committee approved a draft resolution on Iran’s human rights situation, expressing concern at the alarmingly high frequency of the death penalty in the country. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Council will also adopt a resolution aimed at holding the Islamic Republic accountable on November 24.