Oct 11, 2016

Iranian Kurdistan: Protesters Call for Release of Political Prisoners and Safer Road Conditions

Photo courtesy of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

On 6 and 7 October 2016, Iranian Kurds gathered, without prior government authorization, in Bisaran Square at Marivan, Kurdistan Province, to demand the release of five prisoners of conscience who had been arrested during previous demonstrations. Another point of contention was the poor shape of the province’s road system, which had led to disastrous accidents in the past and for which the protesters were blaming the provincial Governor. The Governor, in turn, threatened the participants of “illegal gatherings” to be rigorously prosecuted.

Below is an article published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran:

The clerical regime’s security forces arrested five protesters and organizers of the rally in Marivan (Kurdistan, western Iran) on Thursday, 6 October. The names of the arrestees are Siran Khornika, Artin Hassan Zadeh, Bahreh Arefi, Parvin Rezaei, and Adel Rashidi.

The protesters demanded the release of the arrestees and threatened that if they were not released by Friday, they would continue their protests.

On Friday, 7 October, as was announced, people again gathered to protest the arrests of demonstrators in Bisaran Square and declared, they would stay there until all the detainees were freed.

Thursday’s public protest rally in Marivan was held in Bisarani Square to protest the poor condition of the roads and traffic and crossing of fuel tankers on the city’s roads.

Demonstrators protested against neglect and lack of attention by the state officials to the road conditions in Sanandaj and Marivan as well as high number of road accidents each year caused by the traffic of fuel tankers crossing this area that resulted in the death of hundreds of people.

It is worth mentioning that the regime’s Governor in Marivan appeared at the rally, but following protesters’ slogans such as "shame, shame Governor" and "Governor resign, resign" he was forced to leave the place.

The public protest in Marivan took place after four people died following a fuel tanker overturn at around 10 pm on Tuesday, 27 September, causing six other cars crash into the tanker or each other.  

Marivan’s Governor, Mohammad Falahi, while calling for the cancellation of the protest on October 6 said: “No permission has been issued for any gatherings and demonstrations in the city of Marivan. We will deal severely with any illegal gatherings and demonstrations held without official authorization.