The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported greater security presence on the streets of Kurdish cities this week. Photo: KHRN
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iranian authorities have arrested as many as sixteen Kurds for their involvement in a general strike on Wednesday, according to human rights monitors.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), which disseminates news from Iranian human rights reporters, stated that sixteen “political and civil activists” from the Iranian Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Mariwan, Oshnavieh, Sardasht, and Ravansar have been arrested.
Business owners and shopkeepers staged a general strike
on Wednesday, closing their doors in several cities in Kurdish areas of Iran.
The strike was called by five Iranian-Kurdish parties in a show of unity in response to Iran’s missile attacks on two of the parties (PDKI and KDP-I) in Koya, Kurdistan Region and the execution of three Kurds last weekend.
The biggest “crackdown” on the strikers was in Mariwan, HRANA reported.
Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, cousins who were executed on Saturday, were accused of killing the son of a preacher in Mariwan. The cousins denied the charge.
“In addition to civic arrests, security forces have responded by spray-painting threats onto shuttered bodegas,” HRANA reported on Friday.
Images of empty bazaars and streets were shared on social media.
The France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported increased security measures in major Kurdish cities and disruptions to internet services on Wednesday.
Confirming the arrests of 13 people, KHRN said Iranian forces were taking note of shuttered shops in Mahabad and Sardasht and some business owners were threatened into opening their stores.
Abdullah Mohtadi, head of the Komala party, described the strikes as a “huge success.”
The general strike “has so far been the biggest single act of civil disobedience against the Islamic regime in Iran since the protest movements began in December last year,” he tweeted on Thursday.
PDKI leader Mustafa Hijri thanked people for coming out, saying in a statement published Thursday that the strike “has unnerved the already weak Iranian regime.”
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said the missile strike on the Kurdish parties was a demonstration of the military’s strength and a message to its enemies.
The Kurdish parties recently resumed their armed struggle against Iran as they fight for greater cultural and political rights for Kurds.
Tehran has labeled them terrorists and alleges they are being supported by the US to destalibize Iran in order to further American interests in the Middle East.