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Iran: Turkman Youths Protest Injustice

Iran Turkman Youths Protest Injustice
Iran Turkman Youths Protest Injustice

On Tuesday, March 23, Iranian Turkman residents in the city of Gonbad at the Turkmen Sahra region, Golestan province, held a rally, protesting the Iranian judiciary’s unjust rule. According to protesters, one of Golestan Dam’s security guards had abused two little girls aged seven and eight.

Following their families’ compliant about ‘rape,’ Khosro Khalili, the attorney general of Gonbad, rejected the accusation. “To investigate the rape issue, we sent two seven- and eight-year-old girls to the forensic center. However, the forensic department has rejected the rape case,” said Khalili.

Given the families’ compliant and local people’s protest, the State Security Forces (SSF) had detained the aforementioned guard at his workplace. However, on Tuesday, the attorney general acknowledged that “the accused was summoned to the local judiciary and was informed about the kidnapping allegation.”

Khalili’s remarks ignited public ire against the corrupt judiciary system. In this context, several residents of Arab Sharrank village took to the streets, venting their anger over the judiciary’s unjust rule.

To disperse the protesters, the SSF forces interfered. However, the protesters resisted and broke SSF vehicles’ glasses. They extended their protests and rallied in front of the judiciary’s local office at 5:00 pm.

Fearing the expansion of protests, authorities dispatched anti-riot forces to Gonbad. However, local reports say that the protest had continued until night.

Turkmen Sahra is a region in the northeast of Iran near the Caspian Sea, bordering Turkmenistan, the majority of whose inhabitants are ethnic Sunni-Turkmen. According to Ethnologue, roughly 719,000 Turkmens live in this region today. The most important cities of Turkmen Sahra are Gonbad, Aqqala, Kalaleh, Maraveh Tappeh, Gomishan and Bandar Torkaman.

Turkman people are one of Iran’s ethnic minorities. Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic regime in 1979, these people were subjected to different kinds of suppression and discrimination.

For instance, after only one year of the Islamic Revolution, the ayatollahs detained and executed four prominent Turkman leaders in Gonbad. The executed leaders had played key roles in founding farmers’ assemblies in this area.

Turkmen’s protests in Gonbad come after massive Baluch protest in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan in February. At the time, the SSF opened fire on a group of fuel porters, leaving several dead and injured in the border area of Saravan.

During around a week of protests in Saravan and other Baluch-resident cities, authorities killed at least 40 fuel porters and protesters, including a 16-year-old boy, and wounded more than 100 others, stated the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on February 23.

The continuation of these protests shows public ire against the entire ruling system on the one hand, and society’s readiness for revolting and making fundamental changes, dissidents say.