The 27th consecutive Friday of protests in Zahedan witnessed an intensified security crackdown by the government. For over eight months, the people of Zahedan have been organizing protest marches after Friday prayers. In continuation of these civil protests, on the 26th of Khordad (June 16th), following the Friday prayers, the people of Zahedan demanded democracy and the holding of a referendum, chanting slogans against the government. Local sources reported the arrest of several protesters by security forces.
In response to the nonviolent protests, known as “Zahedan Protest Fridays,” the government has been making efforts to suppress them through various security and judicial pressures for months. The 27th Friday of protests also witnessed a heavy security presence, and there was severe disruption and a complete internet shutdown.
Despite all of this, Molavi Abdulhamid, the Sunni Friday Prayer Leader of Zahedan, who has been supporting the protesters and advocating for a referendum over the past nine months, once again criticized the leaders of the Islamic Republic and warned them that they cannot silence their demands until women achieve their rightful place.
Published images from the Friday prayers in Zahedan show worshipers holding placards with protest slogans such as “Universities have become prisons, Tehran has turned into a detention center” and “The Baluch people’s share from Iran: denial, bullets, execution.”
Since the bloody Friday of Zahedan on the 8th of Mehr (September 30th) last year, the protest Fridays have continued, and the people of Zahedan have been holding their nonviolent civil protests after Friday prayers every week. Despite arrests, threats, and suppression, the protests persist.
On the 8th of Mehr in 1401 (September 30th, 2022), following the revelation of the misconduct of the Chabahar police commander towards a Baluch girl, the people of Zahedan took to the streets, chanting slogans against the government and demanding justice. During the civil protests on that Friday, at least 100 Baluch citizens were killed due to the firing of security and police forces, and dozens of others suffered injuries, including ones that left them permanently disabled.