Shops in the cities of Zahedan and Chabahar in Iran’s southeast went on strike Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the mass killings by the government.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters in Zahedan took to the streets, blocking roads by lighting fires, as seen in videos published by Halvash, a platform reporting events in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province.
Bloody Friday, which unfolded in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, on September 30 last year, witnessed the loss of nearly 100 lives among protesters, with dozens more sustaining injuries.
The incident being the bloodiest event during anti-regime protests during the past year has gone unpunished, as the violence by security forces was not investigated and no officers were held accountable.
On Friday, residents in Zahedan and other cities in the region held protests and scores were wounded by government gunfire. A Baluch Telegram channel announced that Saturday shopkeepers in both Zahedan and Chabahar embarked on a widespread strike in response to the calls for action.
Additionally, other cities in the predominantly Sunni province, such as Nowbandegan, joined the strike. There have also been reports of the Islamic Republic's security forces attempting to quell potential protest gatherings by besieging Zahedan's market.
Internet access in some cities within the province also experienced disruptions on Saturday as the government usually tries to prevent news of unrest spreading to other cities.
On September 29, residents of Zahedan, Suran, Khash, Rask, and Tafatan and some other cities took to the streets, marching and expressing their opposition to the Islamic Republic with slogans. The agents of the regime fired shots at the protesters in Zahedan.
Halvash reported that at least 29 people, including eight children, were injured by rubber bullets. The source further disclosed that the number of detainees reached at least 51 individuals.
The tragic events of Bloody Friday were initially sparked by a gathering of protesting worshippers after a police commander had sexually assaulted a 15-year-old Baluch girl a few weeks earlier. Moreover, anti-regime protests in the rest of the country were in full swing by then, which encouraged the Balush minority to vent its anger. In response, military personnel and agents of the Islamic Republic resorted to live ammunition against the demonstrators and other innocent citizens in and around Zahedan's main mosque.
According to the latest updates from Halvash, the brutal attack resulted in the deaths of at least 105 civilians, including 17 children and teenagers, leaving numerous others with spinal cord injuries, blindness, mutilations, and limb impairments.
Meanwhile, the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Organization has urged the international community to refer the incidents of Bloody Friday to international judicial bodies for investigation as crimes against humanity. Its director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, emphasized, “Killing more than a hundred unarmed men, women and children is a clear example of crimes against humanity and Ali Khamenei and the forces under his command must be held accountable.”
“Despite enduring one of the bloodiest crimes of the last 30 years, the Islamic Republic couldn’t break the resistance of Baluch people to achieve their fundamental rights. And Zahedan’s weekly protests in the last year is proof of that,” he added.