Witness Name and Surname: Withheld
Witness’s Sex: Female
Place testified about: Shiraz
Witness’s condition: Injured, arrested, witness to firing at the people.
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
I came out at 10:00 AM and saw that there was chaos all over the Zendan Intersection Bridge. Many cars were parked there with their engines turned off, and the road was blocked. From Paramount Shiraz to Nader Avenue, it was shut down everywhere; no vehicle could move. My child and I went towards Zendan Intersection. It was chaotic on and below the bridge, all the people were standing up. They had lit fires on all the roads from 11-12 AM. My husband said that all routes and the Dar al Rahmah T-junction were chaotic. Around 4-5 PM, we went to Zendan Intersection Bridge. People from all walks of life had come and blocked the road under the Zendan Intersection Bridge. People said that they would not go (home) lest this section fall into the hands of security forces. No police came towards us at that time. We stayed there until about 11:00 PM. We went home and came back again. We saw that it was chaotic everywhere at midnight. All the equipment in Banafsheh Park had been broken, and all Metro doors had been pulled out. The Metro is adjacent to Park Hashemi, the rumour was that the Basij forces were standing there with their motorbikes, as they have a club there.
We went outside about 8:00 AM. As soon as we came out, we heard shots being fired. There were a few ladies ahead of us who said that they (the forces) were firing shots and we must go back home. There was a strong smell of smoke. We saw that they had occupied the Zendan Intersection Bridge, and it was filled with the police force and Special Guards. Some were in green uniforms; some were in Army pants with windbreakers. Others were plainclothesmen. None of them had masks on their faces. All of them carried guns. Whomever they saw, they would fire at them. We were under the bridge. Two officers in green police uniforms were carrying guns and firing shots. Perhaps ten were in police uniforms; the others had batons and beat up people. There was a 17 or 18-year-old boy whom they hit on the head with a baton. He became dizzy and could not stand on his feet. He said his eyes became blank, and he could not see. Civilians would pick up the injured, put them in their cars or motorbikes, and take them to the doctor. There was no mercy; they would just beat up anyone. In one place, a security man was hitting a man with his baton and at the same time kicking him in the abdomen.
The Basij forces and plainclothesmen all carried guns. Where we were standing, all the protesters were under-aged kids. The security men would seize and beat them up for no reason. The Zendan Intersection had been deserted, and people moved on to Boulevard Adalat. As soon as they fired shots and threw tear gas, people would flee towards alleys and run away. The crowd was huge. The shots fired were pellets. Some weapons fired large bullets that would split into pieces when they hit the ground, spread out like pellets, and hit anyone around.
A shot fired from a gun with a large clip of cartridges struck one person’s leg, leading to severe bleeding. People quickly put him on a motorbike and took him away. One person was hit in his face and another on his cheek. Five or six pellets hit another person in his waist. All these injuries were due to pellets. There was a man in black sport pants and a white short-sleeved shirt who fired a pellet gun and showed no mercy. A 19 or 20-year-old boy came in front of him and stood two or three meters away; he fired at the boy and then struck him on the neck with the butt of his gun. The boy became dizzy. Then, two men in black windbreakers and military pants picked him up and whisked him away in their van.
The distance was of no importance; they would shoot anyone close to them. We blocked the guard rail in one place. Everyone in the crowd had stones. One policeman in military pants, a black windbreaker, and a white Basij shawl came forward and said: “We have no problem with you; come forward and tell us what you want.” Some of those young men were fooled by him and went ahead to talk. As soon as they moved closer, they started firing shots directly at them. They were no more than five meters away. Blood oozed from their legs, hands, and faces. From the other side, five or six Basijis in military pants and black windbreakers appeared on the scene, riding on their motorbikes, and started firing at people who were running away. They even fired at people who were walking on the pavement. It was unimportant to them where their bullets struck. One man was hit around the eyes and his eyelashes, severely bleeding. Certain houses had their doors open, and we escaped into those houses. One or two boys came later. One of them was 15-16-years-old. The motorbikers fired shots at them, grabbed their hands, dragged and took them away. The motorbikers were in military pants, windbreakers, and white Basij shawls.
We came home at 3:00 PM and went back again at 5:00 PM. The security agents were standing all over the Zendan Intersection. They parked their vehicles on and below the bridge. People came out and were shouting slogans. The security men attacked them, and the people ran away and returned. We went towards an alley, Boulevard Adalat. The Basij forces on motorbikes quickly came and started firing at people. People ran away inside their homes. The motorbikers patrolled at short distances. Security forces in large numbers were standing over the Zendan Intersection Bridge and under the Bridge, carrying guns in their hands. About 40-50 people were beaten up or struck by bullets in that area alone by the afternoon. There were many pavement walkers among those who had been shot.
(When an injured person fell, the security forces) would beat him up with batons or fire at him. If people could, they would rescue him; if not, the security men would round up the injured and take them to their parked vans. Those seriously injured were snatched by them from the hands of the people. There were no ambulances at all. People would take themselves away. Mousa Ibn Jafar Clinic is located in Adalat Avenue and has an ambulance service. Nobody went there, and I did not see any ambulance moving. People said not to take (the injured) to hospital as the security men would come there and arrest them.
I saw a bus filled with security men. They were in beige-coloured pants, long boots, and green windbreakers; all of them were wearing helmets. A military vehicle, a two-cabin deluxe one, was parked at the start of Pour Birak. There was also a large van-like black vehicle there. The security men were standing along every step of the way. There were two buses filled with security men standing on and below the Zendan Intersection Bridge. It was inscribed on the police vehicle: “Police – Hot Water.” Underneath that, it was written: “Police – Jahrom.” No one had come out that day for demonstrations as it had rained, and no one dared to come out after seeing the security forces in such large numbers.
Many arrests were made. From the third day onwards, they came individually and removed the video films from the CCTVs. The security forces and the Basij had orders to that effect. Several shopkeepers handed out their video films. They started identifying (the demonstrators). Neighbours had identified certain demonstrators. They said: “We had no choice as they were carrying orders for that; we had to do it.” Several shop owners cleaned their films; some had turned off their cameras on those two days.
There were some skirmishes on the fourth day. There were 50-60 people. The security men gathered under the Zendan Intersection Bridge and were all carrying guns. Their caps were like the soldiers’ caps. Several young men came and started shouting slogans. Two of the Basij men started firing pellet shots when they went forward. They were wearing yellow-brown-green Army pants, black windbreakers, white keffiyehs around the neck, and long black boots. People assembled and started throwing stones at the Basijis. In retaliation, they came forward and started shooting. One of their bullets struck my kneecap. I had acute pain. They had fired tear gas. I could not open my eyes at all. People started running toward their homes. I went to a house and sat there. Someone with a pellet gun shot me. The other one had a gun with a clip of cartridges. He would load the pin and throw out the (empty) clips. One young man’s waist was struck by a bullet that splinters. Blood was oozing from 10 or 12 spots on his body. Many were hit on their legs. There was a 13- 14-year-old boy. He said: “I am afraid I have been shot in the foot; I cannot walk straight.”
After that, I came home. My husband was out on the streets for another hour. He said that the security forces had multiplied so much that no one dared to come out. Since my pants were woollen, the pellet had not infiltrated too deep. We applied some home remedies since I did not dare go to the hospital.
One week later, the police identified several people using the videos. They came door to door in police vehicles and made arrests. One boy’s mother told the other ladies that her son had been on the run for a long time, and the police visited her house regularly. Ten days after these events, the police came to the door of two places. They carried a photograph printed on an A4-size paper. Some people who saw the photo would say: “It is that house.” Later, I noticed that a 50 to a 60-year-old woman was shouting and yelling from a distance while the police dragged an 18 to 19-year-old boy from her house into a vehicle. The labourers said that several of their fellow workers had gone to the demonstrations and were arrested there. They had to phone their (arrested workers) families in the provincial towns to come and follow their trail.
My husband said after those events, “I know two people who were arrested. One was shot in the eye and had gone to the hospital when they arrested him. I do not know whether he received any medical help or not. His family members have come from another city and are following up on his case. The other one, shot in the foot, was terrified and was on the run. He was shot somewhere in Moaliabad.”
A friend came from Ghaleh Hassan Khan- he had participated in the demonstrations. After that, he went to the provincial Governor’s Office or the Governor General’s Office. A bullet shot him. The bullet had made a strange hole; they took him to hospital. He said that they did not do anything for him; they just bandaged his leg. They (the authorities) did not allow the hospital staff to treat him; they arrested him and took him away. This was last year; he has not been released yet.
An acquaintance of mine was in Sadra; he said many people were killed there and the first victim was a schoolboy. They said that there were many killings in Moaliabad and noted that the assault bullets were fired from the Basij club. In all the videos we saw, attacks were mounted on the people from the Basij club. They fired shots from the club’s rooftop, and many people were killed.