More than 105 people have been killed in Kurdish towns over the past month, an Iranian MP said Sunday as security forces continue to violently clash with protesters.
Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, representing the Kurdish city of Mahabad in the Iranian parliament, also said Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi should be held accountable for the situation in Kurdish areas of Iran.
Government forces have been conducting house-to-house searches in Kurdish cities following deadly clashes between protesters and heavily-armed troops.
“What is the reason for the nightly raids on houses and destruction of cars, writing slogans on the walls inside residential buildings and creating terror, setting up numerous checkpoints at the entrance to Kurdish cities and inspecting people’s personal belongings?" the MP said in his speech in parliament.
Iran Human Rights said on November 22 that 56 people were reported killed in Kurdish areas in a week.
“The interior minister and the head of the National Security Council should be responsible for this situation,” Mahmoudzadeh said. “We ask you to identify those who fired at people with live ammunition and put them on trial. But unfortunately, instead of pursuing the rights of the people, the judiciary has surprisingly sued me."
Iran has been gripped by protests demanding more freedoms and women's rights since the September death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Tehran’s morality police. She had been arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code.
Security forces have cracked down hard on the protests, which have been at their most intense in the western areas where the majority of the country’s Kurds live.
At least 416 people have been killed, including 51 children and 27 women, according to one human rights group. Thousands of people have also been arrested.
At least six protesters have so far been sentenced to death. The demonstrations have grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.