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New Hit Squads Established in Iran

New Hit Squads Established in Iran
New Hit Squads Established in Iran

The Iranian regime’s military commanders have recently indicated that new local hit squads – Razaviyoun patrols – have been formed in cities across the county, which seems to be a last resort response to the uprising that sprung up in November 2019 and has threatened to boil over ever since.

Before the November 2019 protests, when protests broke out, reinforcement troops were dispatched to the area to help the intelligence services, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the State Security Force (SSF) crush the protests.

In 2019, however, protests broke out across hundreds of places across the country at once, comprising the largest anti-regime protests in Iran’s history and the security forces were unable to cope. This is why they’re turning towards local patrols.

On September 14, Mohammad Yazdi, Commander of the capital’s special IRGC Force, said that hit squads were being created in various areas of Tehran as part of a coordinated effort by the IRGC, the SSF, and the Judiciary. Then, the Khuzestan IRGC commander released a statement on September 15, saying that Razaviyoun Patrol units had been launched across the province.

Reza Massoudifar, the Judiciary director of preventive security measures, previously announced that Khuzestan, Alborz, Isfahan, and Tehran provinces were protest hotbeds.

Why is the regime doing this? Well because they don’t want the people to rise up against the regime, which is what the people have continued to do, so they want to rule with an iron fist with the hope of preventing the eruption off nationwide protests.

This isn’t the only thing the regime has done. They’ve:

  • Ordered troops to shoot protesters near the governorate building in Qods City (Qods City governor Leila Vasseghi, December 1, 2019)
  • Called for protesters to be hanged (State-run paper Kayhan daily, November 18, 2019)
  • Called for amputation of protesters’ limbs (Religious expert Abolfazl Bahrampour, November 26, 2019, and the state-run Rouydad24.ir, November 28, 2019)
  • Called for protesters to be tortured to death (Bahrampour)

The most egregious hasn’t been what the regime members have said but what they have done. In recent weeks, they’ve executed two detained protesters in an attempt to intimidate the public, despite campaigns to save their lives.

On August 5, the Judiciary hanged 33-year-old Mostafa Salehi, a father of two, for his participation in the December 2017-January 2018 protests over high prices. Then, on September 12, they executed wrestling champion Navid Afkari, 2, for taking part in the Kazerun protests in August 2018.

Iran Human Rights Monitor wrote: “The international community needs to react to the Iranian regime’s plans to slaughter and massacre Iranian protesters for demanding their legitimate rights. They must not do business or negotiate with murderers of the people of Iran.”

Summary of Repression and Human Rights Violations in Iran—August 2020