Parmis Hamnava was beaten to death with clubs in Iranshahr, a town of 100,000 inhabitants in Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran bordering Pakistan where clashes have been particularly bloody in recent weeks. She was 16 years old and attending a high school named after Parvin Etesami (1907-41), the famous Persian poet who in 1935 had welcomed Reza Shah Pahlavi’s ban on headscarves and in her verses warned against those hypocrites who use religion as a political tool.
For the young Parmis, and for many other Iranians, the poet was a role model. As a result, she tore from her schoolbooks the images of Ayatollah Khomeini, the charismatic religious leader who founded the Islamic Republic in 1979.
By now, at least 253 people have been killed by the Islamic Republic’s security forces in these 45 days of protests. Parmis Hamnava is among the 34 minors killed.
According to the IranWire website, at least 16 Kurds were killed in the cities of Mahabad, Sanandaj, Baneh, Qasr-e-Shirin and Piranshahr during last week’s demonstrations in Iran’s Kurdistan province. These were reportedly 15 Iranian nationals and one Iraqi who had traveled to Baneh to attend a funeral. Three were women and three teenagers. Fourteen of them died gunned down by the security forces, while one man suffocated from tear gas.
Several thousand individuals have been arrested, including Ali Daei, the former soccer star who had scored 109 goals in 149 appearances with the Iran jersey between 1993 and 2006. After retiring from playing soccer, he coached the Iranian national team between 2008 and 2009. Now, he is deemed guilty of supporting the cause of women.
Among the journalists who also ended up in a cell is Vahid Shamsoddinezhad, a September graduate from the Higher School of Journalism in Lille, northern France, who was detained on Sept. 28 in Saghez, Iranian Kurdistan, while working for the Franco-German television station Arte.
Four days earlier, he had filed his letter of accreditation with the authorities in Tehran. After that, he had managed to conduct two telephone interviews and record a video for the Arte Journal editorial staff. The reason why he was arrested, even though he had a journalistic accreditation, is because the Iranian system is self-contradictory: it issues you a permit to work as a foreign reporter, but any other organ of state power can put you in jail.
Together with Vahid Shamsoddinezhad, 43 other journalists remain in prison. Among them are the journalists Nilofar Azmoun and Elahe Mohammadi, who were charged with espionage because they were the first sources of news when Mahsa Amini died, including for the foreign press.
What will happen to the thousands of people arrested? On the eve of the 45th consecutive night of protests, the judiciary announced on Monday that the capital Tehran will be the scene of public trials involving a thousand people accused of playing a key role in the protests of recent weeks. They will go on trial for “subversive activities,” including attacking security forces and setting fire to public property.
Judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei stressed that a difference would be made between those who merely “complained on the streets” and those who wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic. And he hinted that some demonstrators will be sentenced for collaborating with foreign governments.
One of the first who was put on trial was 22-year-old Mohammad Ghobadlo. According to his mother’s statement to IranWire, he had been arrested on charges of “corruption on earth” for participating in an anti-government rally. He was not given the right to a lawyer and was immediately sentenced to death.
The crime of “corruption on earth” is the most serious offense under the Iranian Penal Code and is used to cover any form of dissent against the Islamic Republic.
Meanwhile, on social media, an old photo from 2011 has gone viral that shows the Iranian Transport Minister vacationing with his partner with her head uncovered near the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Women are getting killed in Iran for not wearing hijab but see how the top Revolutionary Guards general & current transport minister, Rostam Qasemi enjoys freedom with his unveiled girlfriend in Malaysia. The hypocrite regime is killing teenagers for #WalkingUnveiled,” wrote U.S.-based journalist and activist Masih Alinejad on Twitter. If she was alive today, the Persian poet Parvin Etesami would probably give her a “like.”
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