Iran: Fifth day of protests over killing of Baluch fuel porters

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, February 27, 2021—Friday saw continued protests across Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province over the brutal killing of impoverished fuel porters by IRGC forces. The protests began on Monday, after the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) opened fire and killed fuel porters in Saravan county, near the Iran-Pakistan border. IRGC forces in the Saravan border area 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.

One of the fuel porters who was injured in the incident and is now at a hospital in Pakistan told the Baluchestan Monitoring Telegram channel, “We have become fuel porters out of desperation. After the border crossing was closed, we were left with no food and water. We had no other choice than to hold a demonstration. The IRGC forces first called us at the gates, and then they suddenly opened fire on us.”

Tuesday through Friday, protests spread across the Sistan and Baluchestan province. The regime has cut off internet access to prevent the news of the protests from spreading. According to reports obtained from the locals, security forces have gunned down dozens of protesters and have arrested many others. In Zahedan and Dasthyari, protests continue late into the night on Friday despite the heavy presence of security forces.

The regime is flying helicopters in different cities to intimidate the people and prevent further protests. Military choppers were seen flying over Zahedan and Chabahar.

For many of the impoverished people of Sistan and Baluchestan, transferring small amounts of fuel across the border and selling it to customers has become the only means of earning their keep and supporting their families. The reason they live this way is more than four decades of regime corruption and discrimination against the Baluch minority. The regime’s security forces attack and kill them regularly under the pretext of fighting smuggling. Meanwhile, the regime’s own security forces control a huge fuel-smuggling network that dwarfs the activities of the fuel porters of Sistan and Baluchestan.

On Friday, Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),

The protests have created a spirit of solidarity across Iran, with people of different communities expressing their full support for the uprising of the Baluch people.

In a video message, a Baluch youth called on the people of Iran to rise against the tyranny of the mullahs and said, “I’m a 17-year-old Baluch. Today is the day of the struggle. If you fight back tomorrow will be yours. If you do nothing, all of your family and friends will be killed by the security forces of the mullahs… What is death? It is what happens when the regime guns down your friends and you do nothing about it. Death is bowing down to the mullahs instead of overthrowing their regime. This is not the first time that they’re killing innocent people and it will not be their last as long as we don’t do anything about it. I call on all of you to help us. Don’t be afraid and take action to overthrow this regime. We will either become victorious or these tyrants will suck every last drop of our blood. Let’s overthrow this regime and, for once, live in dignity instead of slavery.”

17-year-old Baluch youth calls on Iranians to support the uprising of the Baluch people

17-year-old Baluch youth calls on Iranians to support the uprising of the Baluch people

In Konarak, the youth took to graffiti, writing slogans against the regime and in support of the uprising of the Baluch people. “Down with [regime supreme leader Ali] Khamenei,” “Down with the IRGC,” “Hail to the people of Saravan,” the graffiti read.

In Rasht, a citizen said, “Dear Baluch brothers and sisters, we the people of Rasht, Gilan, are with you to the end.”

In Kermanshah, a citizen said, “We salute you for standing against the Revolutionary Guards. We are with you to overthrow the mullahs’ regime.”

In Khorramabad, Lorestan, a citizen said, “Saravan is not alone. Death to the dictator. Death to Khamenei.”

In Ahvaz, a citizen said, “Dear Baluch people, you’re not alone. All of Iran is with you.”

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