Several people reportedly hurt in city of Mahabad following clashes with police and protesters which began on Thursday
Al-Jazerra television reported that several people were reportedly hurt in a northwestern city of Mahabad after hundreds of ethnic Kurdish protesters clashed with police following the suspicious death of a local woman. A witness told Al-Jazeera that the demonstrators faced off with police on Thursday along the highway in front of the burnt out Tara Hotel in Mahabad, 680km west of the Iranian capital Tehran.
According to Rudaw, a Kurdish news website, the protest followed the death of Farinaz Khosrawani, 26, who fell from the hotel, where she reportedly worked.
Several photos provided by the witness to Al Jazeera showed a building on fire, while another showed images of dozens of people throwing rocks at police in riot gear.
Other photos posted on social media also showed protesters with injuries.
According to news reports, the Kurdish community accused a security guard in Tara Hotel, where Khosrawani worked, of attempting to rape her, and said she jumped out of the hotel balcony to escape, dying instantly.
The police chief in Mahabad has denied that this took place, and that the security guard has any connection to Iranian security agencies.
Mahabad is a town with a population of 280,000 people, majority of them with Kurdish background.
Following uprising in Mahabad, northwestern Iran, the city of Sardasht, 45 miles to the south of Mahabad, also became the scene of people’s uprising on Saturday May 9. People clashed with the State Security Forces, SSF, when were condemning the intelligence ministry agent’s attempt to abuse a 26-year-old female hotel worker. The SSF attacked the demonstrators with batons injuring a number of them. 10 people were also arrested.
Farinaz Khosravani, an employee of the Tara Hotel in Mahabad came under sexual harassment by an agent of Iranian regime's ministry of intelligence, but tried to escape through the window on the fourth floor of that hotel which lead to her tragic death.
According to eyewitnesses, security forces and special anti-riot guards had been dispatched to a
number of cities in western province of Kurdistan and western Azerbaijan, northwestern Iran.
These eyewitness reports indicate that the cellphones and internet had been disabled in most of the cities in western Kurdistan province. The lines were completely cut off on Friday in these cities.
Amnesty International has issued a statement condemning the excess use of force and repressive measures taken by the Security forces.
The Mahabad uprising started on Thursday, May 7th in front of Hotel Tara in protest to the tragic death of Farinaz Khosravani who died while trying to escape a rape attempt by an intelligence ministry agent. The demonstration of hundreds of people who gathered in front of that hotel was put down by the repressive police. Dozens were injured and hundreds were arrested. The Iranian resistance say that some 700 people have been arrested.
The Iranian Resistance’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi hailed the courageous people of Mahabad who staged an angry protest against the death of a young woman in their city and gave a big lesson to the clerical regime and its intelligence agents.
Mrs. Rajavi extended her deepest condolences and sympathy to Ms. Khosravani’s family, describing her as a brave and honorable woman.
She lauded the residents of Mahabad for their act of protest and called on the Iranian public and youth to rise up in support.
Human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, was arrested at her home on the morning of 5 May after security forces threatened to break down her front door if she did not open it. She was subsequently taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison. Two days before her arrest, she appeared at the first session of her trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on national security-related charges, including “spreading propaganda against the system” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” Before her arrest, Narges Mohammadi told Amnesty International that the charges against her stem solely from her peaceful human rights activism. She stated that this included giving media interviews; gathering outside prisons prior to executions to support the families of death row prisoners; her connections with other human rights activists, and her March 2014 meeting with Catherine Ashton, the former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Narges Mohammadi’s lawyers were not allowed to see her case before the start of her trial.
Narges Mohammadi also faces the charge of “membership of an illegal organization whose aim is to harm national security” for her founding of Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty, a group campaigning against the death penalty in Iran.
Narges Mohammadi was previously imprisoned in April 2012 and released in July of that year after being granted temporary medical leave to obtain medical treatment for an existing health condition, which was exacerbated by her imprisonment. Narges Mohammadi mother of 2 children has suffered from seizures and temporary loss of vision.
On Thursday May 7, the hunger strike of political prisoners of Karaj Gohardasht prison in support of imprisoned teachers and workers continued for the forth day. Up to 10 hunger strikers had been on hunger strike protesting the transfer of imprisoned teacher Rasoul Bodaghi to solitary confinement.
They are also protesting the arrest of Ebrahim Madadi and Dawood Razavi, two senior members of the Tehran Transit Bus union, and the arrest of teachers and workers including the Azadegan oil company. They were arrested by the regime’s intelligence agents for their protest against mass firings of workers and engineers and replacing them with non-indigenous people.