Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Arrest U.Okay.-Iranian Twin Nationals Over Protests


Welcome again to The Farda Briefing, an RFE/RL publication that tracks the important thing points in Iran and explains why they matter. To subscribe, click on right here.

I am Frud Bezhan, regional desk editor for Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This is what I have been following and what I am watching out for within the days forward.

The Huge Concern

Fewer Iranians have protested on the streets in latest days, greater than three months after the nationwide antiestablishment demonstrations erupted.

From the outset, the authorities responded to the rallies with deadly pressure and mass arrests. However in latest weeks, the federal government has used more and more brutal ways, together with the general public execution of protesters, in a bid to curb the rallies.

However that has not stopped some Iranians from risking their lives and taking to the streets, particularly within the western Kurdistan area, which has been the epicenter of the demonstrations. Three days of protests and strikes have been held on December 19-21, following a name for motion by protesters.

Extra Iranians have moved their protests to their rooftops and home windows as the chance of arrest and bodily hurt has elevated on the tightly managed streets.

Movies broadly shared on social media seem to point out protesters shouting from rooftops and home windows late into the evening in main Iranian cities in latest weeks. The apply will not be new however has change into extra widespread not too long ago.

Why It Issues: Throughout the protests, Iranians have discovered new and inventive methods to proceed the demonstrations. Apart from resorting to shouting antiestablishment slogans at evening from their rooftops and home windows, some protesters have turned to protest artwork and graffiti.

Whereas much less harmful, these protesting from their houses are usually not fully protected. Safety forces have shot at and damaged the home windows of condominium buildings the place residents have chanted antiestablishment slogans. Safety personnel have additionally broken vehicles parked outdoors these residential buildings.

What’s Subsequent: These acts of dissent are prone to proceed and improve as the federal government clampdown intensifies. They’re tough for the authorities to cease and permit protesters to maintain the demonstrations with fewer dangers.

Tales You May Have Missed

• An Iranian political activist imprisoned within the western metropolis of Bukan and subsequently transferred to hospital after falling right into a coma died on December 18.

Hengaw, a Norway-based group that screens rights violations in Iran’s Kurdish areas, stated Mohammad Haji Rasoulpour was arrested in October throughout antiestablishment protests in Bukan.

After being rearrested in November, Rasoulpour fell right into a coma and later died because of extreme accidents he suffered on account of being tortured, his household stated.

• Activis 15-year-old Iranian teenager imprisoned within the central metropolis of Karaj was launched on December 15 after an interview together with his mom went viral on social media.

Amirhossein Rahimi’s mom instructed the Tehran-based Etemad newspaper that her son has been in jail for 2 months though he nonetheless had pellets in his head and chest from wounds inflicted by safety forces capturing at crowds throughout an antiestablishment protest.

She instructed Etemad that the decide wouldn’t cut back bail to an quantity she might afford. Following the interview, {the teenager} was launched from detention on a lowered bail.

What We’re Watching

Iran’s nationwide forex, the rial, has fallen to document lows towards the U.S. greenback in latest days. The rial traded at 396,700 to the greenback on December 20, in keeping with merchants in Tehran and the foreign-exchange web site.

The antiestablishment protests have worsened the already bleak financial scenario in Iran, the place the economic system has been crippled by years of U.S. sanctions and authorities mismanagement. Throughout the protests, companies and state staff have staged dayslong strikes which have hit the economic system.

The rial has misplaced practically 20 p.c of its worth because the protests erupted in mid-September. ​

Why It Issues: The plunging worth of the rial will add extra stress on the authorities in Iran, the place protests over financial grievances preceded the newest nationwide demonstrations.

The rallies have but to carry giant components of the economic system to a halt. But when the protests proceed and bigger and extra common strikes by public staff are held, observers say there could possibly be vital penalties for the clerical regime.

That is all from me for now. Do not forget to ship me any questions, feedback, or suggestions that you’ve got.

Till subsequent time,

Frud Bezhan

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