Witness name and surname: Withheld
The place about which he is testifying: Masjed Suleiman
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
On 16 November, a crowd of 3-4 thousand people had assembled in the afternoon at about 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. in front of the Governorate, at the beginning of the city at Havanirooz Roundabout. A large number of officers had also come there from the Sepah Intelligence, Police Intelligence and there were plainclothes men too. Some of them had come in sandals and pyjamas in order to avoid being identified. They controlled and identified the people. It is a small city. All police officers are identifiable. (They were not armed but) if they carried weapons, it was on their waist and we could not see it. The police officers had parked the patrol vehicles of Police Stations 11 and 12 and of the command centre in the middle of the crowd and were standing among the people. The uniform of some of them was marked “Preventive Police,” and of others “Anti-riot Police.” There was a concentration of police forces in front of the Governorate. But the people did not come close to the Governorate. People departed at around 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
On 17 November, aAt least 6 -7 thousand protesters were assembled in front of the Governorate. More officers (than the previous day) had also come there. At about 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. the police began to push the people and tell them to go home. People refused. Plainclothes men began to beat up the people by pushing them and hitting them with their batons. Many men had the marks of assault and battery on their faces: one’s eyebrows were slit; one’s head was broken, and yet another was hit below his eyes. There were a couple of 15- 16-year-olds (plainclothes men) who injured the people with their batons and by kicking them. Those who were trampled and fell on the ground were immediately arrested by the officers, put on their vans and taken away. Those who ran away with broken head or face did not go to the hospitals fearing their arrests.
Suddenly the officers began to fire in the air and the people began to run away. About 2-3 p.m. a number of people threw stones at the officers. They in turn began to shoot on the ground. When they fired on the road, the people would retreat and throw stones. The skirmishes extended to the terminal and Behnam Mohammadi Roundabout and the Unknown Martyrs Roundabout. The distance between the protesters and the police was about 40-50 metres. The officers were stationed on the main road from the Havanirooz Roundabout to Unknown Martyrs Mound.
The officers who started shooting had all covered their faces with masks; they were in police sniper’s uniforms, which is solid muddy-green, and in slanted caps. All of them had removed the badges of their ranks. There were some plainclothes men among them. They were the Basijis and the Sepahis in plainclothes. Police Intelligence officers were also in plainclothes. A small number of Sepah Intelligence Officers were also among them. The plainclothes men and the snipers, about seventy, eighty in number, who were standing beside each other, began shooting together. All of them carried weapons. Plainclothes men carried hunting guns and Colts; all the snipers carried AK-47 Kalashnikovs.
The firing continued for about a quarter of an hour. A 23- 24-year-old boy, who was not a part of the protesters, was struck by a bullet. He was a biker delivery man of a restaurant. He was carrying food. One of the officers fired on the shank of his leg with his AK-47. When the people saw the blood, they became frightened and ran away. Later an ambulance came for that boy. I heard that two others were also struck by bullets. But I did not see them. Iranian TV showed that injured boy, presenting him as a Janbaz. They announced on the TV, as I heard, that “the rioters had fired at him in the riots.” But the people threw stones at best.
They said that one person had died in Masjid Suleiman. But it was not known who he was. Many of the officers had feigned to be a part of the people, but they were actually filming them with their cell phones. They identified many people in this fashion and arrested them the same night or the next day. They continued to arrest the people until Noruz (Iranian New Year-March).