10,000 stage anti-government demonstration in Shoush, Khuzistan Province
Eight killed, 200 wounded as guards attack protest by thousands in Shadegan

More than 10,000 people in the city of Shoush in Khuzistan Province staged an anti-government demonstration yesterday to protest the sham elections, widespread rigging and the regime's repressive policies, poverty, inflation and destitution.

Chanting "death to Khamenei, death to Khatami," the protesters first attacked the Governor's Office and broke through the gates, despite the brutal onslaught by the State Security Forces and the Revolutionary Guards Bassij forces, firing on the unarmed crowd and using tear gas. The crowd broke the building's windows and inflicted damages to it.

Mostly young men and women, the demonstrators resisted against the SSF and special anti-riot units dispatched from neighboring cities to suppress the uprising.

Clashes in other parts of the city, especially in downtown areas, including Danesh Street, continued and the regime's suppressive forces opened fire on the crowd. Enraged residents threw stones and sticks at Revolutionary Guards, setting tires on fire and putting up road blocks. They also damaged or set ablaze many government vehicles and buildings, including the city's Post Office, Sewage Department, and at least two banks.

Dozens of protesters were wounded, some of them in critical condition. They are mostly young pupils who suffered gunshot wounds in their limbs and abdomen. At least 15 were hospitalized in the city's Nezam-Mafi hospital and scores of others were transferred to hospitals in Dezful and Ahwaz. Many people were also arrested.

Shadegan, another city in the province, was the scene of an extensive demonstration by several thousand residents, mostly teenagers, yesterday. The demonstration began in protest to the rigging in the mullahs' election farce and quickly turned into an anti-government demonstration, lasting until 4:00 p.m., local time.

In addition to ransacking the Governor's Office and setting fire to a number of government vehicles, the demonstrators attacked other government building and banks. Tejarat, Melli, Maskan, Mellat and Saderat banks, the local Power Department, and a suppressive center known as the Tribal Committee were demolished and the buildings housing the Construction Crusade, Municipality, Fire Station, Imam [Khomeini's] Aid Committee and Communications Department were set on fire.

The demonstration, in which anti-government slogans were chanted, was in protest against pervasive poverty and widespread unemployment in the city. Large groups of Revolutionary Guards and anti-riot units dispatched from neighboring cities confronted the protesters. Unable to control the situation, local forces had requested reinforcement from other cities.

At least eight people were killed and dozens wounded, among them teenagers aged 16 and 17. Several of them were transferred to Maaroufizadeh and Shadegan hospitals with a number of them in critical condition. At least 200 were arrested.

The Revolutionary Guards and Bassij forces are stationed in the city's sensitive areas and have set up checkpoints, arresting the people, particularly the youth. The city's security council held a meeting yesterday chaired by the governor to adopt more repressive measures to thwart further protests and demonstrations.

The Iranian Resistance draws the attention of international human rights organizations to the violent suppression of the uprisings by the people of Shadegan and Shoush and demands immediate action to save the lives of those arrested.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 20, 2000

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