Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 23, 2021—On Monday, repressive Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) forces in the Saravan border area, Sistan & Baluchestan province, opened fire on a group of Baluch fuel porters, killing and injuring several people. Images and videos posted on social media showed dense presence of IRGC forces along with heavy artillery and tanks. The IRGC had dug deep ditches at border crossings to prevent the commute of fuel porters.
The porters held a protest rally and demanded the border crossing to be reopened. The IRGC forces responded by opening fire on them.
According to reports from locals, at least nine civilians were killed and dozens injured in the clashes. The IRGC used heavy machine guns to fire on the porters and set several of their vehicles ablaze. The security forces later opened fire on a village that was near the area the incident took place, causing all residents to flee.
The IRGC has also dispatched several armed forces squads to the Saravan county to prevent potential protests by the families of the victims and the enraged citizens. More reports indicated that the IRGC had blocked roads to the Razi hospital and the morgue in Saravan, where the bodies of the victims were being held.
Photos of six fuel porters killed by IRGC forces in Saravan
On Tuesday, in spite of the heavy presence of security forces, the residents of Saravan held a demonstration in front of governorate building, protesting the killing of fuel porters by IRGC forces. The IRGC tried to disperse the protesters by opening fire on and throwing smoke grenades at the demonstrators. But the protesters held their ground and forced the IRGC forces to retreat.
According to reports, fearing the rage of the locals, the IRGC forces fled the scene and evacuated the governorate. Videos show the governorate building set on fire. The regime has declared martial law in the city.
Reports from the locals pertain that many civilians have been injured by smoke grenades and led bullets. The situation is very tense. Protesters have set tires on fire and blocked the road that leads to an IRGC base. Witnesses report that the people have encircled the IRGC ground forces base in the city.
Residents of other cities and counties of the deprived Sistan & Baluchestan province have declared their support for the protests of the people of Saravan.
The security deputy of the provincial governor of Sistan and Baluchestan tried to misreport the situation, saying, “The shooting incident in Saravan that took place yesterday was on the Shamsar border crossing and was instigated by fuel porters on the other side of the border.”
The regime official also blamed the porters, saying, “The gathering of the fuel porters at the border crossing and their lack of restraint has caused the attack on our border station today.”
The security official also expressed his frustration and fear of the regime’s crimes being exposed online and said, “Today, some people provoked the people on cyberspace to assemble a rally and again, some attacked the governorate… Anti-revolution groups and dissidents had drawn a roadmap and encouraged opportunist individuals to engage in such activities.”
According to locals, as the situation grew more tense in Saravan, the regime has cut access to internet to prevent reports from reaching the world and other parts of Iran. It is worth noting that blocking internet access is a regular tactic of the regime during times of protest, and it has invested billions of dollars into acquiring and deploying sophisticated internet censorship technology.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed her support of the people of Saravan, who have stood up against the tyranny of the mullahs’ regime.
“This is the only way for the people of Iran to achieve their rights in the face of the mullahs’ vicious regime,” Mrs. Rajavi said and called on all youths, particularly in Sistan and Baluchestan to join the protests and support the people of Saravan in their plight.
According to reports obtained from Saravan, clashes between security forces and protesters continued long after demonstrations started in the morning. The situation is still tense despite the heavy presence of security forces.
Security forces killed and injured several other civilians in today’s protests. At least 40 people have been killed and 100 others injured and have been transferred to hospitals.
“I wish for quick recovery of the injured. And I call on the courageous youths in Sistan and Baluchestan to rise up and support the people of Saravan,” Mrs. Rajavi tweeted.