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Iranian security forces committed mass murder in Mahshahr, state media admits

Protests in Mahshahr-November 2019
Protests in Mahshahr-November 2019

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, December 24, 2019—State-run ISNA news agency published a report on Monday which indicates a heavy security presence after the regime’s repressive forces conducted a widespread massacre of civilians during the November protests.

Following are excerpts from ISNA’s report:

“The sounds of protests in Mahshar were heard about four days after the main events… We went to Mahshar on December 5th and 6th to compile this report. Witnesses say Mahshahr and all its surrounding towns, including Chamran, Gama, Taleghani, Sarbandar, Madani and Rajai’I were involved in the protests. But the people didn’t allow the protests to be pulled into the towns.

“Most of the people who have lost family members in the incidents are not inclined to interview… If the family members of a victim or a witness want to interview, they have to coordinate with some authority… Some say they must coordinate with a friend or acquaintance while others explicitly name security authorities. They say that the families have been told to be careful about who wants to interview with them.

“Javad said, ‘On Friday, the people were standing in front of the gas stations and weren’t doing anything, until the security forces arrived… the people blocked the main road to Bandar-e Emam (Emam Port). Blocking the road drew a reaction from the security forces. The people are fed up. They were tired and they poured into the streets. They’re not the elements of foreign powers. They don’t even have access to foreign powers. The security forces entered the towns surrounding Mahshahr on Saturday and Sunday… When they arrived, the people didn’t even throw rocks at them. They were just sitting. The security forces started firing bird shots to disperse the crowd and the people lied down on the streets to avoid getting hit by the bullets…’

“Hamed, who is one of the residents of Chamran and was present at the clashes, said, ‘There was no damage to the city. We didn't destroy anything. The protesters only stood in the square and blocked the path to prevent [oil company employees] from going to work. That’s it.’”

Regarding the casualties in Mahshahr, ISNA writes, “The residents are saying different numbers about the number of casualties in both towns. But what seems to be definite is that ordinary people were among the victims. There aren’t exact figures about the number of people who lost their lives during the recent incidents in Mahshahr.”

But while this state-run publication refrains from giving any estimate, according to various reports, including information obtained by the MEK’s local sources, security forces killed at least 100 people, including several children and elderly.

According to ISNA’s account, the security forces started shooting at the people at random, targeting bystanders, shop owners and people who weren’t involved in the protests.

“I was standing over my wares, I had customers, they were shopping,” one hawker said. “I suddenly realized there were clashes down the road. I wanted to pack up and leave. As I opened my car’s door, I suddenly felt a stinging pain. I didn’t realize I was shot. Others said ‘Bullet! He’s hit by a bullet! I could only hear. My eyes were closed.”