PMOI Secretary General: Khuzestan uprising part of anti-regime upheaval sweeping Iran
In a bid to quash the week-long antigovernment uprising in Ahwaz, the clerical regime’s Revolutionary Guards have executed a number of teenage demonstrators in the streets, according to eye-witnesses. Revolutionary Guards arrested demonstrators in the city streets and gunned them down in front of residents to terrorize the local people and end an uprising that has spread throughout Khuzestan Province. Security forces have opened fire on demonstrators from helicopters circling above the city, according to these reports.
A 5-year-old child died when he was run over by a Revolutionary Guards’ armoured personnel carrier, one of the many that has been patrolling the city since the uprising began a week ago.
Security forces have used so much tear-gas and toxic agents that hospitals have been inundated with patients complaining of severe respiratory problems. Government troops have raided hospitals to drag away many patients on charges of taking part in demonstrations.
Fierce fighting has brought the province to a complete stand-still since Friday, when State Security Forces opened fire on an anti-government demonstration in the city of Ahwaz.
Ahwaz was placed under a de facto martial law after anti-government demonstrations led to bloody clashes between local residents and security forces.
In a message to the people of Ahwaz and Khuzestan Province today, Ms. Mojgan Parsai, Secretary-General of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and a native of Ahwaz, hailed their "heroic resilience in the face of the mullahs’ savage onslaught" and said, "Mullahs’ aggressive attacks only reveal their weakness. They know very well that the uprising will not end in Khuzestan. This uprising is a reflection, and part and parcel, of an upheaval sweeping the whole country."
A government-orchestrated counter-demonstration on Friday was greeted with apathy by the local people. Even the non-Arab residents of Ahwaz stayed away from the march led by local clerics and officials of the Islamic Republic. State television showed scenes of the demonstration, with large banners blaming "the U.S., Israel and the Monafeqin" for the uprising. Monafeqin, or hypocrites, is the term Iranian state media and officials use to describe the People’s Mojahedin, Iran’s main opposition group.
The semi-official Jomhouri Islami daily wrote in its editorial today, "We must not ignore the seditious role being played by the Monafeqin in the events in Ahwaz."
The Prosecutor-General of Ahwaz Amir Khani said today that five people had been detained by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, charged with being the primary instigators of the clashes that are still on going in a number of districts. He also announced the arrest of a further 59 people involved in the clashes in Ahwaz by the security and intelligence apparatus.
Since the beginning of the uprising in Khuzestan, 62 residents have been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 23, 2005