Anti-riot police and other oppressive security units surrounded the demonstrators, snatched their signs and destroyed them, confiscated their mobile phones and other recording devices, and then beat them with batons before arresting them.
The demonstrators, who had merely been calling for their rights to be respected and the return of their stolen life savings, had earlier been chanting, “Oh God, oh God, so much injustice”. How much injustice must they suffer for their rights?
This is not the first demonstration for either group but, for now, let’s focus on the swindled investors.
On September 3, the clients of the Caspian Credit Institute gathered in front of the Iranian judiciary to demand the return of their plundered investments.
November 12 – Tehran, #Iran
Retirees & Caspian credit firm clients rallying outside the mullahs’ Majlis (parliament), protesting the plundering of their life savings.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/OyNZLmGosI
— People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 13, 2019
On July 12, they protested outside the Central Bank, chanting, “The people are tired of hearing promises. Disgraceful government, our money is gone”.
On June 16, the clients of Caspian and the state-linked Thamen al-Hojaj credit firm rallied outside the Central Bank to demand the return of their stolen money.
These promises were of quick and substantial returns on investment with IRGC-owned Caspian or any of the other several state-backed credit firms that have been involved in a multi-billion-dollar government-run embezzlement case over the last few years, stealing billions of dollars’ worth of investment from ordinary Iranians.
Iranians, believing they could trust firms backed by the government, invested heavily.
These returns never came through. Many credit institutions went out of business, while others simply have refused to refund their customers, something that has made the clients understandably furious and triggered ongoing protests in many Iranian cities.
In the last two years, customers of these institutions have been constantly protesting to recover their funds, which in some cases was all the money they had, but the authorities have yet to take any concrete steps to meet their demands.
The truth is that the Iranian authorities will not do anything to fix the problem.