Iranian doctors and medical workers were planning to hold a protest rally on Wednesday, October 26, at the building housing Iran’s medical authority in Tehran, in a show of support for the nationwide protest movement that has rocked Iran for weeks.
But the medics said the gates of the building remained closed, and a riot squad violently cracked down on the gathering.
Dr Shirin Forqani, a dentist from the capital, was among those attacks. Now her lips are split, and her hands, legs and back are covered with bruises.
"I went to the front door of the medical authority,” Forqani told IranWire. “They told us that they had arrested several people and disrupted the gathering. Police forces were also dispersing the crowd. We headed to the back streets where people had gathered."
"As we were walking on the sidewalk, a group of motorcyclists suddenly came from across the street, pointed their guns at me and my sister and started shooting with paintball guns and metal balls," the dentist added.
Forqani insisted that they were shot at while “the protest was going on in different streets.”
“We chanted and the repression forces attacked us with tear gas. People opened their doors and sheltered us in their parking lots," she continued.
She said she left the rally to go to her office and stitch her lip with the help of one of her friends.
"We were supposed to go to the medical authority building, which is our home, and have a peaceful meeting there to see what can be done. But they didn’t only prevent us from entering our own house, they also attacked us with tear gas and shot us with bullets and paintballs."
Another doctor who does not want to be named confirmed the incident.
"We were going up Kargar Street and before reaching the offices of the medical authority, we saw many colleagues coming down the sidewalk. We also joined them," the doctor wrote to IranWire:
Security forces then started shooting at the protestors, aiming at the heads of “two of our female colleagues."
"Tear gas was fired in the alley, and a person riding a motorcycle was standing in the alley and shooting randomly," the doctor added.
Mohammad Razei of the Greater Tehran Medical Authority resigned following the incident. "Disrespecting the medical community and insulting the doctors who intended to hold a peaceful rally in this organization," were the reasons behind his resignation, he told the ILNA news website.
Moied Alavian, the head of the board of directors of the Tehran Medical Authority, stepped down a few hours later, saying in his resignation letter that he was not able to fulfil his duties anymore.