The Islamic Republic of Iran has arrested at least 96 Kurdish people since the new year in relation to the nationwide protests that have been going on for five months now, Hengaw, a Norway-based Kurdish human rights group announced on Tuesday.
Among the nearly 100 Kurdish citizens arrested were 13 children, five university students, four teachers and five women, according to the NGO.
Iran’s Kurdish cities have been at the forefront of the protests sparked by the September death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jîna Mahsa Amini.
The vast majority of the 10 million Kurds living in the country live in cities in Iran’s westernmost region, known as Rojhilat in Kurdish. Iran has been using increasing violence to quell the uprising in Kurdish cities.
Military and other security forces in Iran have killed at least 15 civilians while suppressing protests in its western Kurdish-populated regions, between 19 and 21 November.
The security forces killed one more person when they opened fire on a 40th day mourning ceremony on 31 December, 40 days after some of the protesters were killed.
On top of the violence and arrests by the security forces against Iran’s Kurdish cities, missile attacks were launched against Iranian Kurdish parties in the Iraqi Kurdistan region by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in November.
The exact number of those arrested during the protests in Iran is unknown, however, Iran International reported some sources as saying that nearly 20,000 people have been detained since mid-September.
At least 476 protesters have been killed by security forces in Iran and 100 more sentenced to death according to a December report by Iran Human Rights (IHR). Of the 476 people killed, 64 were children and 34 were women.