Nika Shahkarami, 16, reportedly beaten to death by Iranian security forces, September 20, 2022

EA on Australia’s The World: Why Iran’s Regime Cannot Crush The Protests


News of the detention of an academic as Iran’s security forces try to quash protests in Iranian Kurdistan:


Payam Vali, a member of Iran’s persecuted Baha’i religious minority, has described his imprisonment near Tehran in an open letter and audio recording.

The 300,000 adherents to the Baha’i faith, declared illegal by the Iranian regime, have long suffered discrimination, loss of property, denial of education and jobs, detention, and even killing. The crackdown has intensified amid nationwide protests this autumn.

Vali was seized and beaten in a police raid on his home and workplace in Karaj, west of Tehran on September 24.

He says he was told that he would be released if he made a televised confession on all charges: spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic and propaganda against Islamic law; cooperating with foreign media by giving interviews about human rights abuses in Iran; and inciting protests via social media.

He refused and remains in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj.


Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, a member of Iran’s Parliament, has called for Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi to be held accountable for the killing of at least 105 people in mainly-Kurdish towns and cities in northwest Iran.

Mahmoudzadeh represents the city of Mahabad, where civilians were slain as Revolutionary Guards units were deployed just over a week ago.

Security personnel have been conducting house-to-house searches in attempts to quell protests in Iranian Kurdistan, the starting point for more than 10 weeks of nationwide protests.

Mahmoudzadeh asked in Parliament:

What is the reason for the nightly raids on houses and destruction of cars, writing slogans on the walls inside residential buildings and creating terror, setting up numerous checkpoints at the entrance to Kurdish cities and inspecting people’s personal belongings?

The Interior Minister and the head of the National Security Council should be responsible for this situation. We ask you to identify those who fired at people with live ammunition and put them on trial.

But unfortunately, instead of pursuing the rights of the people, the judiciary has surprisingly sued me.


The video that prompted authorities to arrest the niece of Iran’s Supreme Leader (see entry below):


Demonstrations in China over a renewed Coronavirus lockdown, and more broadly economic and social issues such as the repression of Uighur Muslims, have linked themselves with protests in Iran.


Iranian authorities have arrested the Supreme Leader’s niece Farideh Moradkhani.

Moradkhani’s brother Mahmoud posted on Twitter that his sister was arrested on November on Wednesday after she answered a prosecutor’s summons. He posted a video on YouTube in which she condemned the “clear and obvious oppression” to which Iranians have been subjected.

Moradkhani, who has previously been imprisoned, described the authorities led by her uncle as a “murderous and child-killing regime”.


Iran’s judiciary has charged rapper Toomaj Salehi with spreading “corruption on Earth”, an offense which carries the death penalty.

The head of judiciary in Isfahan Province, Asadollah Jafari, said Salehi also faces charges “propaganda activity against the establishment, forming an illegal group with the intention of disrupting the security of the country, cooperating with hostile governments, and spreading lies and inciting others to commit violence”.

Human rights activists say Salehi’s trial began “without a lawyer of his choice”, as his family said his “life is at serious risk”.

Salehi, 32, rose to prominence for lyrics challenging corruption, widespread poverty, state executions, and the killing of protesters in Iran. He said authorities were “suffocating” the people without regard for their well-being.

Last year, Salehi was arrested at his home after releasing several songs. He was released on bail a few days later.

He was seized again in late October after support for nationwide protests and denunciation of the Iranian leadership. He told the Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation: “You are dealing with a mafia that is ready to kill the entire nation…in order to keep its power, money and weapons.”

After he was detained, State media circulated a video showing the rapper blindfolded and apologizing for his words. Family members and supporters said he was tortured in prison to make a forced confession.


In social media posts about Tuesday’s World Cup football match between the US and Iran, the US Soccer Federation removed the Islamic Republic emblem from the Iranian flag.

“We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” the Federation said.

Attention to the match has been raised further by the Iranian football team’s show of solidarity with nationwide protests. Last Monday, the squad refused to sing the national anthem before its opening World Cup game with England.

After a show of regime pressure, including the arrest of former Iran national player Voria Ghafouri, the team mouthed the words to the anthem before last Friday’s match with Wales.

Safiollah Fagahanpour, a legal adviser to the Iranian Football Federation, said Tehran will ask world soccer federation FIFA to suspend the US men’s soccer team for 10 games.

Fagahanpour asserted that the display violated FIFA’s ethics rules against racist behavior.


Amid the regime’s concern over expressions of solidarity by leading athletes with Iran’s protests, sports journalist Mehdi Amirpour has been arrested and detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Security forces raided Amirpour’s house at 2 a.m. on Sunday and confiscated his electronic devices, following his reporting of Iranian athletes’ support for demonstrations.

Authorities have now arrested more than 60 journalists since the start of the nationwide protests on September 16.


Activist Hossein Ronaghi has been released on bail to receive medical treatment after fears for his life.

Ronaghi’s brother confirmed the release on Saturday.

A high-profile critic of the regime who has repeatedly been imprisoned, Ronaghi was seized again soon after nationwide protests began in mid-September. He had been on hunger strike for two months.


The website of the Revolutionary Guards outlet Fars is still down, after it was hacked by the Black Reward group on Friday.

The group expressed solidarity with nationwide protests and said it has downloaded Fars’ databases, includes confidential news bulletins sent to the Supreme Leader’s office and Revolutionary Guards, recorded calls, correspondence, and financial data.

UPDATE 1214 GMT: More on Friday’s World Cup match between Iran and Wales where the Iranian football team, under pressure from the regime, mouthed the words to the national anthem….

Regime supporters harassed Iranians who expressed solidarity with protests. Stadium security seized flags, T-shirts, and other items with pro-protest messages.

Security guards also stopped some fans from bringing in Persian pre-Revolutionary flags. Others had their flags ripped from their hands by pro-regime Iranians.

The regime supporters shouted insults at fans wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”. They disrupted women giving interviews to foreign media, shouting, “The Islamic Republic of Iran!” Other female fans were shaken by loud insults and being filmed up close on mobile phones.

Ramin Rezaian, who scored one of the goals in Iran’s 2-0 win, responded to the regime’s threat of punishment of any support for protests with a carefully-worded statement.


The Iranian regime has deployed more Revolutionary Guards units, including armored vehicles and special forces, to quash protests across the Kurdistan region in northwest Iran.

The mobilization came as activists called for demonstrations from Friday to Sunday in solidarity with the Kurdish civilians detained and slain by security personnel.

In Zahedan in southeast Iran, another center of the nationwide demonstrations, marchers again defied the regime crackdown which has killed at least 100 people in the area since September 30.

They chanted in solidarity with Kurdistan, “Kurds and Baluch are brothers.”

On videos posted on social media, gunshots were heard as marchers ran for cover. A wounded man was carried away from the demonstration.

The Friday Prayer leader of Zahedan, Iran’s leading Sunni cleric Molavi Abdul Hamid again called for an end to repression and a reform of the regime: “The people’s protest has shown that the policies of the last 43 years have reached a dead end.”

The cleric said of reported sexual violence by security forces against detainees, “Things are said about the mistreatment of women in the media that are heavy and I can’t bring myself to say.”

Woman among the marchers chanted, “Rape! Crime! Down with this clerical leadership.”


The Supreme Leader has praised Basij paramilitaries involved in the crackdown on nationwide protests, including the killing of almost 450 people.

“They have sacrificed their lives to protect people from rioters….The presence of Basij shows that the Islamic Revolution is alive,” Khamenei said on State TV.

The activist news agency HRANA said 448 protesters have been killed, including 63 children, as of Friday. It added that 57 members of the security forces have been slain, and an estimated 18,170 people arrested.

Khamenei dismissed the protesters, declaring that the battle is not with them as “the main confrontation is with the global hegemony”. He tried to rally support by railing against the perfidy of the US.


Kurdish activists say Iranian authorities are forcing the families of slain protesters to bury the bodies in the middle of the night under strict security measures.

The France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network posted on Friday about the hasty burial of 32-year-old Shamal Khediri, shot and killed by direct fire from a Revolutionary Guards unit deployed in Mahabad in West Azerbaijan Province in northwest Iran.

Khediri died in hospital on Thursday. The Norway-based rights group Hengaw said that security personnel who handed over Kherdiri’s body escorted his family to Mahabad for a forced burial “in the middle of the night”.

Both KHRN and Hengaw say the security forces did the same after Heman Aman, from the Iranian-Kurdish city of Bukan, was shot, kidnapped, and tortured. He died on Wednesday at the Urmia detention center.


Facing retribution (see 0808 GMT) over their refusal to sing the national anthem before their first World Cup match, Iran’s football team sang — or at least mouthed the words — before Friday’s 2-0 victory over Wales.

The squad did so mainly with solemn expressions amid the pressure over their solidarity with Iranian protests earlier this week.

Iranian State media is carefully framing the episode without reference to the demonstrations. Fars, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, quotes center-back Morteza Pouraliganji, “We sang the national anthem to make the hearts of the people happy.”

Manager Carlos Queiroz said to the international press: “We did it for the people of Iran….Everything we do is for them.”


Australia and the Netherlands have confirmed the arrests of dual nationals in Iran.

Both countries said the detainees have been denied consular access.

A spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs said the detention of an Iranian-Australian was not over participation in protests.

The Netherlands issued a similar announcement.


In a possible warning to Iran’s World Cup team, authorities have arrested prominent football player Voria Ghafouri.

Ghafouri, who has been capped for the national team and served as captain of Tehran football power Esteghlal, was accused of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic and seeking to undermine the World Cup team.

The player has been outspoken on behalf of Iranian Kurds, using social media to call in the regime to stop killing Kurdish people. He was previously detained for criticizing then-Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

On Monday the World Cup squad refused to sing the Iranian national anthem before their match with England. After the game, captain Ehsan Hajsafi expressed solidarity with Iranians calling for rights and justice.

Iran play Wales on Friday.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The UN Human Rights Council has approved an investigation of the Iranian regime’s attempted repression of nationwide protests, which are entering their 11th week.

The Council voted 26-6, with 15 abstentions, for the resolution introduced by Germany and Iceland. The inquiry will examine the killing of more than 400 people and the arrest of an estimated 17,000 since the protests began on September 16, with a mandate to “collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of…violations”.

The demonstrations began over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini, detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” over “inappropriate attire”, in police custody. They have expanded in their calls for political, social, and economic rights and an end to violence and abuse by security forces.

Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, opened Thursday’s urgent session with the observation that Iran is in “a full-fledged human rights crisis”.

The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force must come to an end….The security forces….have used live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, tear gas and batons….

Accountability is a key ingredient of the pursuit of justice for human rights violations.

After the vote, US Ambassador Michele Taylor said, “Iranian officials will not be able to perpetrate this violent crackdown anonymously. The international community is watching.”

Iran’s representative, Khadijeh Karimi, declared that the inquiry was disgraceful and said European states had no moral authority because of their sanctions on Tehran.

On Monday, in an attempt to pre-empt the HRC, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said authorities would launch an investigation into the deaths during the protests.

But the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rahman, noted, “The victims’ families are forced to make false statements, under duress, stating that their children committed suicide. Iranian authorities spread false statements about deaths in custody and protester deaths. They fabricate false scenarios.”

Human Rights Commissioner Turk summarized, “The old methods and the fortress mentality of those that wield power simply do not work.”