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Politics

Shopkeeper Photographed With Iranian President Apologizes To People of Kurdistan

December 3, 2022
1 min read
The picture showing Faizollah Qaderi, a shopkeeper at Sanandaj’s bazar, welcoming President Ebrahim Raisi was widely published in government-affiliated media.
The picture showing Faizollah Qaderi, a shopkeeper at Sanandaj’s bazar, welcoming President Ebrahim Raisi was widely published in government-affiliated media.

A shopkeeper in Iran’s northwestern Kurdish city of Sanandaj has apologized to the people of Kurdistan after he was photographed while welcoming visiting President Ebrahim Raisi earlier this week.

Raisi visited Sanandaj on December 1 amid a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests that has rocked Iran for 11 weeks. The demonstrations and state clampdown has been particularly intense in the country’s western Kurdish areas.

A picture showing Faizollah Qaderi, a shopkeeper at the city’s bazar, welcoming the president was widely published in government-affiliated media.

Qaderi released a video on December 3 saying he had been taken by surprise and that he is not affiliated with any group or organization.

He said his shop, which he rents, is his only source of income, and that he is standing with the people of Kurdistan.

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. The protest movement has grown to become one of the biggest threats to the clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Rights activists say more than 440 people have been killed in the crackdown by security services, including dozens of children, and at least 18,000 others have been detained.

According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group, more than half of the deaths occurred in the mainly Kurdish areas and Sistan and Baluchestan, which is home to a Sunni Baluch minority.

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