Iran arrests Kurds striking to protest regime's recent attacks, executions
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran has arrested multiple activists involved in a coordinated Rojhilat-wide (Iranian Kurdistan) strike that took place on Wednesday in response to the Islamic Republic’s missile attack on the headquarters of opposition parties in the Kurdistan Region and the execution of three activists on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Iranian Kurdistan Parties Cooperation Center—which consists of all Rojhilati groups that seek Kurdish rights in the country and was established to counter Iran's concentrated efforts to combat the groups—issued a statement calling for the people of the region to immediately.
“People in Kurdistan will stage a peaceful general strike to show the brutal Islamist regime in Iran that we will not accept more military attacks against our political parties and executions of our political activists,” said Loghman H. Ahmedi, a senior member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) leadership, to Kurdistan 24 during the strike.
Social media users posted footage of participants in various cities and towns from the four provinces that constitute Rojhilat: Kermanshah, Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, and Ilam. Stores were closed and the streets deserted.
Later in the day, videos showed officers from the Ministry of Intelligence (Ettela'at) wearing street clothes and marking some stores closed or with an "X" in spray paint. Rights groups expressed concerns that owners of these shops would later be taken in for questioning by police.
“To inspire horror and fear among the strikers, Ettela'at agents started marking locked shops in the city of Oshnavieh [Shno] and threatened arrest and torture,” reported a rights group named Irane Ma, meaning "Our Iran."
The regime's plainclothes agents are seen in the video, marking stores on strike.— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) September 12, 2018
Shop owners in 28 different cities across 3 provinces launched a general strike protesting the execution of 3 Kurdish political prisoners#اعتصاب_سراسری_کردستان pic.twitter.com/CPTQ1ZWEt4
Relying on local sources, Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran-HRM) reported that three civil rights activists by the name of Mukhtar Zareei, Khalid Hosseini, and Mozaffar Salih-Niya were arrested Tuesday night, and three others named Soran Danesh-War, Aram Fathi, and Muslim Behrami were later arrested on Wednesday.
On Saturday morning, in a successive and coordinated manner, Iran launched seven missiles at the two party headquarters in the Kurdistan Region's town of Koya, killing 15 and injuring 42, according to local officials. The action came just hours after the much-feared execution of the three political activists, for whom major human rights organizations had called on the country to halt.
Editing by John J. Catherine