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Lordegan AIDS crisis: Iranian regime continues suppression and arrest of locals

Iranian security forces suppress protests in Lordegan, where hundreds of citizens have been infected with HIV virus
Iranian security forces suppress protests in Lordegan, where hundreds of citizens have been infected with HIV virus

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 10, 2019—The situation remains tenuous in Lordegan county, Charmahal & Bakhtiary province, which has been grappling with an AIDS crisis in the past week. According to reports by the locals, security forces have a heavy presence in the city and are strictly controlling all movements.

The regime’s suppressive forces arrest anyone they deem suspicious and have established an environment of fear in the city. According to the locals, the regime’s security forces have arrested between 150 to 200 people and have transferred all of them to Shahrekord, the province's capital.

Protests erupted in Lordegan after news broke that health ministry workers had infected hundreds of residents in Chenar Mahmoudi village with HIV virus by using contaminated syringes during blood tests.

 

Iranian regime officials tried to downplay the situation by laying the blame on the residents themselves. But the measure only resulted in more outrage and intensified the protests. The regime dispatched security forces to control the situation, clashes ensued and the protests turned into anti-government demonstrations. The outraged citizens of Lordegan set fire to several government buildings, including the offices of the Friday Prayer Imam, the representative of the regime’s supreme leader. Regime forces opened fire on protesters, killing one citizen and injuring several others.

The regime has tried to blame the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) for inciting protests. In this regard, Mohammad Ali Nekounam, the representative of the supreme leader in Charmahal & Bakhtiary province, said, “What we’re facing these days is a very important and bitter incident… The enemy wants to take advantage of the situation to cause dissent. It is the enemy that is chanting anti-regime slogans and destroys the properties of the government.”

Meanwhile, many videos posted on social media show the angry citizens of Lordegan and Chenar Mahmoudi protesting and blaming the regime’s unqualified and corrupt health system for not taking the necessary precautions to protect the citizens. On Sunday, a regime delegation visited the area and was met by angry citizens who attacked and broke the windows of their cars.

In their protests, the people were chanting anti-regime slogans such as “Death to dictator” and “No to Gaza! No to Lebanon! My life for Iran!” a reference to the regime’s costly ventures into neighboring countries, which has taken its toll on the Iranian economy and lives of its citizens.

Since protest began due to the AIDs outbreak in Lordegan, the regime has established an undeclared martial law in the city. According to reports, security forces dispatched to Lordegan include units of the terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the basij paramilitary and plainclothes agents. Regime forces raid homes of citizens at night and arrest them.

The regime has also blocked the road to Chenar Mahmoudi and has expanded its security presence to the surrounding villages and towns. In the meantime, there’s no sign of the regime taking concrete action to tend to the needs of the citizens of Lordegan, who now have to cope with the aftermath of being infected with the HIV virus.

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