Two November Protesters In Iran Die Of Their Gunshot Wounds

Source: Radio Farda

Mohammad Maleki (L), and Amir Shahpour who were injured during protests in November 2019.
Mohammad Maleki (L), and Amir Shahpour who were injured during protests in November 2019.

Reports received from Iran by human rights groups abroad say two protesters injured in mid-November anti-government protests have passed away.

The security forces had shot the two, Mohammad Maleki and Amir (Shahpour) Ojani, during the deadliest protests in the four-decade history of the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Mid-November protests engulfed 29 out of 31 provinces of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters received gunshot wounds, Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports.

The widespread demonstrations, initially against an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices, soon turned into an uprising against the clergy-dominated regime in Iran.

According to human rights organizations, a 23-year-old peddler, Mohammad Maleki, died of a bullet wound he had received on January 25. His body was buried two days later in the city of Baharestan, in the province of Tehran.

Security forces’ bullets had pierced the lungs and spine of the young man, reports say. Maleki had become a father only two weeks before his death.

Earlier, the monopolized state-run Television had interviewed Maleki, citing the peddler as saying that “rioters” had shot him. This was a claim government official made immediately after the protests, saying many protesters were shot at close range by others among the crowd. But numerous videos and eyewitness accounts showed uniformed and plainclothes government agents firing at protesters.

Meanwhile, based on reports leaking out of Iran, 43-year-old Amir (Shahpour) Ojani also died of bullet wounds on January 9.

Fearing detention, Ojani had stayed away from hospitals for days until his wound was severely infected and life-threatening. He died at a private hospital of infection and lung complications.

Some injured protesters, including those with painful wounds, did not seek hospital treatment for fear of arrest, Amnesty International (AI) reported, adding that the security forces had threatened doctors, clinics, and hospitals not to look after injured protesters and report them to the police.

“They are killing us slowly; they are torturing us to death,” AI quoted a protester as saying in Tehran.

More than three months after the protest rallies, the Islamic Republic authorities have not yet announced the number of people killed and arrested in the widespread uprising.

Amnesty International has so far confirmed that 304 protesters were killed in the uprising. At the same time, according to Iran Human Rights Organizations (IHRO), the death toll is at least 324.

Meanwhile, the reformist opposition Kalemeh website that had earlier set the death toll at 366 increased the figure to 631 on January 2 “based on classified bulletins” of the security forces of the regime.

However, according to Reuters, 1,500 protesters lost their lives during the four-day demonstrations.

Furthermore, data collected by Radio Farda shows that the security forces arrested at least 8,600 in the mid-November anti-regime rallies.

In the meantime, reports are rife on torture and dire prison conditions for those arrested. There have been reports of detainees dying in prisons and bodies turning out in rivers.

On December 9, the Kurdish Human Rights Organization, Hengaw, reported that Kaveh Vaysani arrested on the second day of the anti-governmental protests in Sanandaj, died under heavy torture.

Hengaw, also reported on January 17, that the body of Nader Rezaei Abtaf, who was arrested on the first day of mid-November protests in Kermanshah, had been delivered to his family and buried on December 29.

At least three close persons and family members of Rezaei Abtaf confirmed his death due to horrible torture, Hengaw cited “local sources,” adding, “The Islamic Republic intelligence agents had warned his relatives against giving interviews to the media.”

A day earlier, on January 16, Hengaw had reported the completely burnt body of another protester, 41-year-old Sardar Azami was delivered to his family.

Sardar Azami had disappeared on November 16 in Prand city in Tehran province. His body was burnt to the extent that his identity was recognized by a DNA test, Hengaw said.

Moreover, Iran’s social media users have shared shocking images of bodies recovered from dams, reservoirs, and rivers are those of mid-November protesters.

The images show swollen bodies, many of them with hands tied. Most of the mind-boggling photos are from the oil-rich province of Khuzestan and Kurdish-populated areas in the west of the country.

To weigh these allegations, Radio Farda’s Mohammad Zarghami spoke with the uncle of 28-year-old Ershad Rahmanian, whose body was discovered in the Garan Dam reservoir near Marivan, in Kurdistan province.

“Everything indicates that my nephew fell victim to the Islamic Republic agents’ heavy-handed response to the mid-November unrest in the country,” Kamyar Ahmadi, Ershad’s uncle who has been living in exile in Norway for the past twelve years, said.

“Security and intelligence agents have forced the family to say that Ershad committed suicide by throwing himself into the Garan Dam’s reservoir,” Ahmadi said and added that the family cannot believe Ershad took his own life.