Outrage spilled onto the streets of Bukan this week as demonstrators protested against the death of a young Kurd in police custody.
Shirzad Ahmadinejad, 41, was arrested on February 15 by intelligence forces, and died following brutal mistreatment in Revolutionary Guard’s detention center in Orumiyeh (Urmia).
The Kurdistan Press Agency claims the family were told by phone that Ahmadinejad had died of a heart attack, painfully reminiscent of the lies used to cover up the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, whose death triggered a wave of revolutionary fervor since September.
Ahmadinejad, believed to have been arrested for participating in protests, suffered from kidney disease and was denied access to medical services during his detention, according to the report.
It sparked mass protests in Bukan, West Azarbaijan Province, an area heavily populated by Kurds, where people lit fires in the streets and chanted slogans like “Death to Khamenei”.
Security has been stepped up in Bukan amid funeral preparations with checkpoints set up at the entrances of the city on Thursday. Violence reminiscent of that seen around the funeral of Amini and other similar figures, is expected.
The area is often the target of brutal crackdowns as the regime continues its suppression of the Kurdish minority. Also this week, two Kurdish citizens from Bukan were kidnapped by regime forces and taken to an unknown location, according to Kurdish rights group Hengaw.