Iran-HRM – The state security forces opened fire and used teargas Wednesday against locals who were protesting the cutting down of their walnut trees by government agents in Sarab Kahman village, in western Lorestan Province.
The Special Forces opened fire on villagers with live bullets and pellet guns, injuring and wounding many of the locals including women. Special Forces attacked the homes and gardens of the villagers. The number of injured locals is still unknown.
The state forces attempted to cut down the walnut trees in this village on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. But they met staunch resistance of the residents of the village because the trees are their source of income and they have spent years to grow them.
Local sources said the clashes started at around noon on Wednesday when security forces attacked homes and gardens to cut down the villagers’ trees.
The SSF special unit fired tear gas on the residents and shot them with pellet guns, wounding a large number of them. Some of those wounded are in dire health and a few of them have been transferred to Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan Province.
Images of a number of injured locals were published both on social media platforms and a state-run news agency.
Apr. 28 – Sarab Kahman Village, Lorestan, W #Iran
More images of locals injured by security forces and the shotgun shells used on protesters. pic.twitter.com/8OVRv7DbEd— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 29, 2021
Sarab Kahman Village, Lorestan, W #Iran
The state security forces violently attacked & opened fire today on locals who were protesting the cutting down of their walnut trees by the Department of Natural Resources. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/hAaSisdEXe— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 28, 2021
According to Rokna news agency, the Governor of Selseleh County in Lorestan, Morteza Mahdavikia, confirmed the clashes, saying “police have re-instated security in the region” and that everything was “under control”.
The Lorestan official claimed the government was trying to take back the lands that belonged to the government.
Mahdavikia said yesterday’s attack was the “second phase” of the “liberation of national lands”. The Governor said the plan was being implemented with the backing of the Judiciary and the Lorestan Chief Justice.
“Certainly, these proceedings will continue until public rights are realized, and until the lands and mountains are taken back from those who seek their own personal benefits,” Mahdavikia added.
He described locals as “profiteers”, and said they clashed with security forces for “security” reasons.
Mahdavikia threatened locals saying they would be “punished for what they did”.