International Community’s Urgent Action Needed to Release Thousands Arrested During August Protests in Iran


Most arrests are carried out by IRGC’s plainclothes agents and Khamenei office. 

At least 1,000 youths and other protesters were arrested during the August uprising in Iran, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in a Statement on Wednesday. According to state-run IRNA news agency quoting the the Iranian regime’s interior minister on August 21, the uprising involved 27 cities and 13 provinces in Iran.

In addition, many of those who were arrested during the January uprising but released on bail later were arrested again and sentenced to long prison terms. In August, many young people, especially the PMOI supporters, were arrested in many cities including Tehran, Karaj, Yazd, Behshahr, Birjand, Gonaveh, and other cities.

Most of the arrests are carried out by the regime’s criminal plainclothes agents controlled by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Khamenei’s office. They participate in the demonstrations and identify the demonstrators and activists by photographing and filming them and then arrest and detain them far from the demonstrations or arrest them later by attacking their homes. In some cities, such as Karaj, plainclothes agents direct part of the population to the alleys and streets by chanting deviating slogans and detained them.

Many of the detainees are transferred to secret safe houses, and are interrogated by the IRGC and intelligence agents and then delivered to official prisons including notorious Evin prison after severe harassment and mayhem.

Many of the arrested in Karaj and Tehran were transferred to Ward 8 of Gohardasht Prison. No one has access to and can contact with prisoners in this ward. Prison guards at this ward are different from other guards and are not from ‘Iran Prisons Organization’. Detainees are taken to the jail from the beginning with a blindfold, so that he or she would not know where the ward is located.

In August, as the uprising escalated, regime officials started to express their anger and fear from the PMOI. “The United States, the Zionist regime and the Saudis, who support the PMOI, are under the illusion that the PMOI would bring a miracle for them,” said Mohammad Kosari, the deputy commander of the IRGC’s Sarallah headquarters. (Sepah News-August 4, 2018). The state-run Channel One television network said, “A study of the movements during recent months show that the PMOI’s bankrupt elements are the infantry in this scenario” (state-run Channel One TV network -August 12, 2018).

Mullah Ahmed Salek, a member of the Parliament’s Cultural Commission, said “the slogans that are being chanted by people are designed by the Monafeqin (a derogatory and abusive term used by the mullahs to refer to PMOI) through alien media,” (State-run Tansim news agency affiliated to the terrorist Quds Force – August 2, 2018).

The NCRI called on all Iranian people, especially the youth, to show solidarity with those arrested by the regime authorities and various intelligence and security agencies. The NCRI also called on the U.N. Security Council, the Human Rights Council, and other relevant bodies to take immediate action to release all political prisoners, especially those detained during the uprising, and to condemn Iranian regime for the brutal suppression of the popular protests and egregious violation of their rights.