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Iranian security forces murder Baluch citizen

Meysam Nodratzehi, 18, was killed by Iranian security forces while porting fuel, an occupation that has become all too common in Baluchistan
Meysam Nodratzehi, 18, was killed by Iranian security forces while porting fuel, an occupation that has become all too common in Baluchistan

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 1, 2019—Iranian security forces in Baluchistan province’s Saravan city killed a youth after opening fire on his vehicle on Sunday. The victim, Meysam Nodratzehi, 18, was porting fuel, an occupation that has become all too common in Baluchistan.

One of the witnesses said, “After security forces opened fire, Meysam’s car caught fire. Meysam tried to get out of the burning car, but the agents shot him dead and he burned in his car.”

 

Nodratzehi is one of many Iranian youths who have resorted to exhaustive and dangerous work such as fuel porting to make ends meet. High prices, poverty, and unemployment have pushed many Iranians to become engaged in such unofficial occupations. Fuel porters are often targeted by the Iranian regime’s security forces, and many get injured or die as a result of attacks by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and border patrols.

Earlier in September, security forces attacked and killed three other fuel porters in Saravan by opening fire on their car. Security forces left the scene after killing and injuring the porters, and local citizens had to put out the fire and transfer the survivors to the hospital. 

The regime’s treatment of the Baluch ethnic minority is especially harsh. The killing of Baluch youth by Iranian security forces has become all too common, and no Iranian authority has been held to account for the attacks on empty-handed people who are trying to put food on their families' tables. There has been no record of the Iranian judiciary responding to the complaints of citizens about attacks by security forces. This has encouraged the regime’s security forces to continue committing crimes against Baluch citizens without fear of accountability.

In many cases, the judiciary describes the victims of the regime’s attacks as “criminals” without any evidence to justify their murder, giving security forces free rein to continue their crimes. In recent months, the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan province had stipulated that his government would be cracking down on fuel porters and the “smuggling of fuel.”

 

Interestingly, while the regime is fast busy shooting and killing poor fuel porters in border provinces, the IRGC smuggles large amounts outside Iran’s borders on a daily basis to circumvent sanctions and fund its terrorist and ballistic missile projects.

The attacks on Baluch fuel porters comes against the backdrop of widespread discrimination against the Baluch minority. In other news, Iranian authorities in Zahedan Central Prison tortured a Baluch prisoner who had protested to problems in the facility. The prisoner, Najib Nazarzehi, 23, lost consciousness under torture. When he regained consciousness, the prison guards resumed torturing him and threatened to transfer him to the ward of dangerous criminals if he complains.

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