HomeStatementsStatements: Human RightsIran: Fire festival widely celebrated despite official ban and restriction

Iran: Fire festival widely celebrated despite official ban and restriction

Iran: Fire festival widely celebrated despite official ban and restrictionResponding to the call by Iranian Resistance, youths across the country turn Festival of Fire to confrontation with suppressive forces

Following the call by the Iranian Resistance to mark Chaharshanbehsouri (Festival of Fire), people and youths across the nation turned the festival into a confrontation with the Revolutionary Guards, Bassijis, plain clothed agents and other suppressive forces.

Reports received until 9:00 pm local time indicated that the security forces attacked young people in the capital’s Shariati Street and attempted to beat them up. The protesters fended off their attacks and neutralized the security forces.

In many regions of Tehran, including Mirdamad Street, young people set Khomeini and Khamenei’s posters ablaze. In other regions in the capital, including Khak-Sefid and Tehran Pars’ 4th Square, they thwarted the security forces’ attacks and set their centers on fire.

Eyewitnesses reported from Tehran that in the early evening all regions of Tehran were turned into a war zone as the sound of huge and power explosions of firecrackers could be heard all over the capital.

Young people defied the ban on riding motorcycles and roamed the streets of the capital and celebrated the Festival of Fire.

The activities came despite the fact that since early Tuesday morning, club-wielding thugs had a heavy presence in the capital, enforcing a de facto martial law. Check and search points were set up in most streets of Tehran. The regime also set up field courts, warning that it would sentence anyone arrested hurling firecrackers from six months to one year imprisonment.

In the northern city of Rasht, the Revolutionary Guards and the Bassijis attacked the gatherings by young people but faced stiff resistance. So extensive were the clashes that the State Security Forces’ commanders were pleading to the youths to leave the streets.

In the southwestern city of Abadan, the students set fire to the pictures of Khomeini and Khamenei and threw them in trash cans. In Semnan (northern Iran) students pulled down Khomeini and Khamenei’s posters from classrooms and tore them apart.

In the western Province of Kurdistan, the SSF had imposed an undeclared martial law after the incidents in Piranshahr last week. Nevertheless, celebrations and protests by young people continued across the province.

In the southern city of Shiraz, despite the heavy presence of the SSF, Bassijis and plain clothed agents, the sound of firecrackers was being heard constantly.

Frustrated over the extent of the celebrations in different cities, the regime’s agents resorted to a violent crackdown and widespread arrests of young people.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 14, 2006