Iranian football star Vorya Ghafouri

Strikes Continue In Iran As Famous Footballer Is Detained

Thursday, 11/24/2022

In response to calls for strikes, merchants and storekeepers in dozens of Iranian cities closed their shops and workers stopped work at some factories.

Reports say business owners in the cities of Mashhad, Semirom, Naqadeh, and tens of Kurdish cities joined the nationwide strikes on Thursday.

The government also took another provocative step by arresting a popular and outspoken football player.

The Free Workers Union announced Thursday that workers at the Nirou Moharrakeh company in Qazvin west of Tehran have gone on strike in protest to inattention to their problems. The company is one of the major motorcycle manufacturer in Iran.

Unions of construction workers of Kordestan province also issued a statement, demanding the trial of the perpetrators and those responsible for the killing of the protesting workers.

In the past days, the youth of Tehran Neighborhoods and the Cooperation Center of Iranian Kurdistan's Political Parties called on political entities, civil activists and people from all walks of life to organize a general strike on Thursday, November 24, to show support for the Kurdish people.

Meanwhile, The Iranian Writers Association has condemned the “organized suppression of the defenseless people of Kurdish cities," saying that it reminds one of the days the cities were attacked during Iran-Iraq war.

“The organized suppression of the defenseless people of Kurdish cities is the continuation of years of systematic repression and torture… by a regime that … arrests and executes its opponents,” said the Association in a statement.

In the meantime, the board members of the Association of Playwrights resigned in protest to suppression and censorship.

Iranian state media also reported that Voria Ghafouri, popular soccer player who has been supporting nationwide protests, was arrested.

Borna New Agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Sports and Youth Ministry, said Thursday that Ghafouri has been detained for “insulting & sabotaging” Islamic Republic’s football team and “propaganda against the regime!”

The media did not provide details about the insult by Voria Ghafouri, but it appears his story about the national football team with the caption "Shameless, Shameless" on his Instagram page was taken as an insult.

Ghafouri, who is of Kurdish origin, has lashed out at the Islamic Republic for killing people in recent weeks, demanding an end to the massacre of Kurds by the security forces.

The authoritarian regime has so far arrested several football players on charges of acting against national security, including Parviz Broumand, Hossein Mahini and Hamidreza Ali Asgari. Some others, including Yahya Golmohammadi, head coach of Persepolis football team, have also been summoned for supporting the protests.

Frequent statement by legendary football players Ali Karimi and Ali Daie against the Islamic Republic and in support of protests have also angered the clerical rulers, to the extent that the judiciary announced Iw was prosecuting Ali Karimi.

In addition to athletes. Dozens of writers, journalists and famous cinema personalities have also been detained.

Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, earlier claimed that the stance taken by some athletes and artists regarding the protest movement is of no importance.

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