In clashes between protesters & suppressive forces, SSF bases, governor’s office, Guards HQ, other government centers heavily damaged
Yesterday, thousands of people, especially women and youths, in Saqez (Iranian Kurdistan province), staged a demonstration against the clerical regime’s suppressive policies and in solidarity with uprisings in other cities in the province, including Sanandaj, Mahabad, Sardasht, Piranshahr, Marivan, Oshnavieh, Baneh and Divan Darreh.
The demonstration began around 9:00 am from the city’s Azadi Street toward Oghab Square and Enghelab (Revolution) Boulevard, Jomhouri Street and Hehlou Square.
To prevent the protest from spreading, the clerical regime dispatched hundreds of State Security Forces (SSF) and special anti-riot units to the scene. Backed by helicopter gunships, the suppressive forces took position in Hehlou Square, where they fired tear gas into the crowd and began shooting in the air.
To confront the brutal crackdown, young people broke in groups of 100 and engaged in hit-and-run skirmishes with the SSF. By putting tires alight and setting up obstacles in Azadi and Vesali streets, they prevented the SSF from advancing.
Chanting "long live freedom," "death to Khamenei" and "down with the mullahs’ rule," the demonstrators hurled rocks and attacked SSF bases, the Governor’s Office, the Revolutionary Guards HQ, the Justice Department, Saderat, Mellat, Bonyad and the paramilitary Bassij’s Qarz-ol Hassaneh banks as well as other government and suppressive centers, inflicting heavy damage on them.
Intense clashes erupted outside one SSF base and the Governor’s Office. A number of young people attacked the Governor’s Office and broke the windows of its large gate. They also overran a center for the Bassij forces known as Hosseinieh Ershad and damaged the building and equipment inside.
Several protesters were wounded and at least 30 arrested during the clashes.
In another development last night, suppressive forces and intelligence agents raided homes in Sanandaj and arrested at least 400 people and took them to unknown locations. The scene of extensive demonstrations and clashes in the past few days, Sanandaj is virtually shut down as SSF agents have been deployed in most streets.
The Iranian Resistance’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, hailed the heroic uprising of the people of Saqez and urged residents in other areas and towns to rush to their aid. Mrs. Rajavi added, "The day is not far when the Iranian nation’s uprising will uproot the religious theocracy under the banner of Islam and herald democracy and popular sovereignty in Iran." She also called on the international community to condemn the brutal crackdown on the people of Saqez and other cities in Kurdistan province and undertake efforts to save the lives of those arrested.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 4, 2005