At least 15 Iranian Kurds and one Iraqi Kurdish citizen were killed in a brutal crackdown by security forces on protests in western Kurdistan province last week, according to a human rights organization.
Demonstrators flocked the streets across Iran on October 26 to mark the 40th day since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman from Kurdistan province, died in the custody of morality police in Tehran. The death has triggered an unabated wave of nationwide protests against Iran’s clerical establishment.
The armed forces cracked down particularly hard on the rallies held in different cities of Kurdistan on October 26 and the following days, firing bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators.
As a result, 16 people were killed in the cities of Mahabad, Sanandaj, Baneh, Qasr-e-Shirin and Piranshahr, the Hengaw human rights group said in a statement on October 31.
Three women and three teenagers were among those killed.
Fourteen of the victims were killed by direct fire from the security forces. A man from Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region who had traveled to Baneh to participate in the funeral of one of the victims was among them.
A 16-year-old girl was killed by baton beatings to her head, while a man was suffocated to tear gas.
The deaths occurred during protests held on October 26, 27, 28, and 30.
The ongoing wave of protests first focused on Iran’s strict dress code for women, but soon grew into one of the most serious challenges to the country’s establishment, with demonstrators clashing with security forces and calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic.
At least 253 people have been killed in the crackdown by security services, including 34 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people have been arrested.