Iran: Targeted Killings And Wave Of Arrests – OpEd


75 years ago, in the darkness of the Hitler’s barbaric world, a huge wave of arrests broke out, followed by horrific torture and fraudulent trials and death sentences that in many cases was a gradual death of convicts by being hanged with piano strings. Even those who provided refuge and shelter for the escapees were facing death sentences.

Hitler, who had fierce anger and an endless thirst for the elimination of the opposition, urged Himmler and Colten Brenner to make every effort to identify anyone who dared to oppose him. He himself determined how to eliminate those who opposed him.

But the religious fascism ruling Iran has gone far beyond that. The regime’s security guards have not even bothered setting up out-of-court trials and shot at those who opposed them. The guards were instructed to shot the wounded in the hospital and spare no life.

These days, even with the Internet shut down and heavy censorship, more and more news is coming out, news about the killing of defenseless people during the November uprisings in Iran.

An eyewitness who said one of his relatives was injured in one of the protest scenes shares his observations while waiting at the hospital:

”One of our relatives was injured in the demonstration. It was about 4 pm that I arrived at Fatemeh Zahra Hospital. A few minutes later, several pickup cars arrived at the hospital with plainclothes gunmen and a few bodyguards.

From the very first minutes, they shouted at the people present at the hospital and forced everyone to leave the hospital building. After a few minutes, the hospital staff was forced to leave the building as well. The plainclothes told the crowd that they are after a gunman who has come to the hospital. You better not wait here because shots are going to be fired and you may be hit. A group of people was frightened and left the scene.  

But we remained at the scene, very worried. Suddenly we heard shots being fired. The plainclothes were in the building for just a few minutes. They left the hospital, no arrest was done. They left the hospital in hastily.

First, the hospital staff went in and other people followed. Although visitation had been allowed earlier, we were denied to visit anyone at the hospital till about 11:00 pm. In prior visits, the wounded were all conscious and their injuries were not life-threatening.

Late at night, a number of doctors and nurses spoke to a number of families, informing them that their loved ones have passed away. They recited a number of excuses such as lack of blood, heart failure, internal bleeding and similar reasons as the causes of death. It sounded so wrong. A nurse walked toward us informing one of the families that their 6-year-old son has died of cardiac arrest.

Her mother and sisters couldn’t believe it, there must be a mistake, they shouted. We know that he was shot in the leg, how could a broken leg because of death. No hospital staff responded to the family. After seven days, his family was contacted by the authorities. The family was asked to blame the protestors for the killing of their son and have a low-key funeral ceremony in a small town.

Under the above conditions, the body was released to the family. The family was not allowed to see his face. His mother was so restless to see her son and finally, they allowed her to see her son’s face just for a few seconds.

As she opened the shroud, she said that he was shot in the head but was quickly silenced herself, fearful of being denied permission to bury her son. She kissed her son’s body for a long time and wept for a long time. After the funeral, my mother said she had seen a bullet shot on her son’s forehead. Her son was shot in his leg in one of the protests.”

In the wake of the brutal suppression of the people’s uprising in November, we see and hear much more about the suppression and killing of protesters by the Iranian regime. Even according to narratives reported by witnesses, what the regime did is a crime against humanity

Firing shots at protestors from close range, attacking defenseless people with axes and knives, targeting women or children who returned home from school and killing protesters under torture all fit within this category. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated, “The image that is emerging of Iran is very disturbing.”

Security and plainclothes officials have removed many injured protesters from hospital beds. An eyewitness from Tehran said: “I was talking to a friend of mine who works at Tehran’s Labafi Neighborhood Hospital. He was saying that on the night of November 7 and 9, we had to admit a large number of people who were shot in the eye, many from the city of Karaj. Most of them were taken away by security guards the same night or the next day without being completely treated.”

Reports from various cities in Iran indicate that the bodies of many protestors, after going through brutal beatings and tortures, were thrown into a river by the members of the Revolutionary Guards.

At the same time, bodies are found in Isfahan River, Hamadan Lake, Karaj River, Ahwaz River and a dam in Sanandaj have been posted on social media.

Some activists believe the bodies belong to the November protestors. Some families who are still unaware of the fate of their loved ones are fearful that the security guards will commit crimes against their children.

Hassan Mahmoudi

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.

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