Western Iran: Strikes and Protests Against the Killing of Porters Continue

By Poorang Novak

Following the protests and raids in Baneh, Kurdistan Province on Tuesday, September 5, the city is on a strict curfew. Other cities of Kurdistan Province are also currently facing the same situation.

Earlier this week, thousands of people from Baneh gathered to protest against the death of two Kurdish Porters (carrying goods across the borders) who have been shot by the IRGC forces. The protesters closed the bazaar and rallied in front of the governorate.

The security forces fired at the protester and the Special Forces were deployed to disperse the crowd by shooting and firing tear gas. The protesters set the governorate on fire. The repressive forces used hunting weapons in addition to military ones against the protesters. The security forces have summoned the newsgroups of social networks for further investigations. Moreover, the speed of internet has dropped sharply.

A number of administrators and social networking agents have also been arrested, especially in Baneh. Nevertheless, there are a number of Telegram channels, including the Canadian campaign that actively supports the Kurdish Porters by spreading the news about the course of events.

The IRGC forces have been deployed to Sanandaj and Hamadan on Wednesday, August 6 to suppress the protests. These forces were present in different parts of the cities, especially near the governorate. The regime's intelligence and security forces scaffolded the governorate's building, as they feared from people's attacks. In a bid to calm tensions and clashes, the regime announced that five border patrol agents have been apprehended.

According to the reports, the merchants in Bazaar continue their strike against the murder of two Porters in Baneh. The people of Marivan are also struggling to support the Kurdish Porters by holding public protests. Other cities of Kurdistan and Azerbaijan provinces also expressed support to the people of Baneh.

The people of Baneh in a statement announced that they would also go on strike to protest against the killing of Porters. In their statement, they referred to the fact that this tragedy will not end. The statement reads, "We, a group of civil, political, and human rights activists from Kurdistan Province express our sympathy with the families of Porters who have been murdered. We go on hunger strike to call on the authorities to address our demands."

It is noteworthy that Baneh is a city located in the west of Kurdistan Province and is 670km from the capital Tehran.

Following the clashes in Baneh, dozens have been wounded and detained. The intelligence forces have transferred the wounded to unknown locations. The arrests continue in the city. According to some reports, the number of casualties reaches 25.