Saga of the Iranshahr Girls: whereabouts of imprisoned activist still unknown
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The family of Abdollah Bozorgzadeh has been in the dark about his whereabouts for twenty days. The activist was arrested by plainclothes forces on June 17th after joining a peaceful gathering in support of the Iranshahr Girls.
The Iranshahr Girls are a group of 41 girls who have reputedly been raped in the southeastern city of Iranshahr. Their case attracted publicity after Sunni Imam Molavi Tayeb Molazehi spoke about them in his sermon at the end of Ramadan, in which he stated the girls had been raped by a group of men “of wealth and power”.
According to the Baluchi Activist Campaign, Bozorgzadeh spoke once with his family on the phone from a detention center run by the intelligence department of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He was then transferred to the quarantine section of Zahedan Prison and has not been heard from since.
A day after his arrest, Bozorgzadeh was seen in the corridors of Iranshahr’s Revolutionary Court where he said he had been tortured.
In the days that followed, the head of the Judiciary of Sistan & Baluchestan province was asked in a news interview about the reasons for the arrest. He responded that the activist had been “disrupting order”, adding that Bozorgzadeh’s brother was “among the enemies of the regime”.
A short while after, IRGC’s intelligence department published footage that showed Bozorgzadeh among a group of six male and female teenagers.
Social media has been buzzing in support of Bozorgadeh and his fellow protesters who were arrested for gathering to advocate for the Iranshahr Girls. Many Friday-prayer imams have also asked for his release.
After the names of the Iranshahr girls’ rapists were published on social media, it became evident that they had the support of the IRGC and security apparatuses.