Over 100 people killed or wounded, hundreds arrested as riots erupt in Iranian town of Nayriz

Riots erupted for a week in the towns of Nayriz and Abadeh in the southern Iranian province of Fars as people protested against the clerical regime's policies, according to reports from the province.

Several people were killed, more than 100 wounded, and several hundred others were arrested. At least 10 Revolutionary Guards and Intelligence Ministry agents were severely wounded in the clashes.

The demonstrations and clashes reached their peak on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 12 and 13. The people of Nayriz, chanting "Down with Khamenei" and "Down with Velayat-e Faqih", ransacked and set fire to many government centers including the governor's office. The shopkeepers in Nayriz had closed down their shops in an anti-government protest since several days earlier.

Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, hailed the people of Nayriz and Abadeh and other cities in Fars Province. Offering his condolences to the families of victims and wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, Mr. Rajavi called on the people of other parts of Iran to help the protesters in Fars Province.

"The courageous uprising by the people of Fars and the mullahs' brutal reaction in the second week of Khatami's presidency," said Mr. Rajavi, "show that no meaningful reform of this regime is possible. The Iranian people seek to overthrow this regime in its entirety." Mr. Rajavi called on young people throughout the country to join the National Liberation Army to fulfill this national aspiration.

Fearing the spread of uprisings to other cities, the Director of Intelligence and the Governor of Fars Province went to Nayriz on Tuesday to oversee the situation. More than 3,000 Guards were dispatched from nearby cities to the site of unrest to suppress the people.

Those injured include a large number of women and children. A 4-year-old child, Saeid Yazdani Parast, was shot in the thigh and abdomen in the arms of his mother, Sakineh Dalir, 34, who was herself shot in the chest. Abbas Imani, 12, Farajollah Imani, 14, Reza Bayki, 14, were also wounded. Some of the injured are in critical condition. The city's hospitals are filled with the injured and many are cared for in houses allocated for this purpose.

In the midnight of Tuesday, Intelligence Ministry agents raided the residences of several people charging that they had led the demonstrations. In a report filed for Tehran by the Intelligence Department of Fars Province it was said that a group of the Mojahedin had come to Nayriz from nearby cities to organize this demonstration.

Unrest and scattered clashes continue in Nayriz and Abadeh. Fearing the outbreak of further protests, the regime' officials have refrained from holding the planned funeral services for the remains of 24 of the Iran-Iraq war dead.

Mr. Rajavi drew the attention of international human rights organizations to the bloody crackdown on the demonstrations in Nayriz and Abadeh and urged their intervention to save the lives of the detainees, whose whereabouts remains unknown while they face the threat of execution.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
August 15, 1997

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