Arested turkmen fishers
Mitra Nikzad – 2008.01.13

While many young people in the northern town of Bandar-Turkeman are in a blackout ‎about their family members who are in prisons, the commander of the law enforcement ‎forces in Golestan province issued orders for the exile of some of the detainees.‎

According to the Rooz reporter, following the unrest that erupted in this town because of ‎the death of an 18-year old fishermen from the town of Bandar-Turkeman which took ‎place when a coast guard boat deliberately ran into the fishing boat, law enforcement ‎agents in Golestan province and Bandar-Turkeman detained between 350 to 400 residents ‎of the town.‎

The event took place at night. According to the Rooz reporter, law enforcement agents ‎broke into the houses of residents while they were in their beds and without even giving ‎them the time to change, boarded them on buses waiting for them, and drove them to the ‎detention centers in their pajamas.‎

In a related incident, when the friends were commemorating the death of Hessamaldin ‎Khadivar, the fisherman who was killed in the coast guard raid, law enforcement agents ‎raided the event and arrested the participants. Even Hessamaldin’s brother was arrested at ‎the event and is now in prison. ‎

An informed source who was closely in touch with the arrests told Rooz, “Anybody who ‎has a Nissan or a motorbike in Bandar-Turkeman was arrested and imprisoned. This was ‎because most of those individuals who attacked the Governor’s building in the town ‎following the death of Hessamaldin had Nissan pickup trucks, Nissan Patrols or ‎motorbikes.‎

According to another report, law enforcement forces have not responded to the family ‎members of the detainees when asked about their whereabouts. They told a few of them ‎that their detained relatives had been exiled to the south eastern town of Zahedan, near ‎the Pakistani border.‎

These events have taken place at a time when the state of Turkmenistan to the north of ‎Iran has shut the flow of gas to Iran, the residents of a number of northern towns of Iran, ‎including Bandar Turkeman, remain without gas, bread and electricity, and now they ‎have the grief of imprisoned relatives to top it off. In many of the families in the north, it ‎is the young men who are the bread winners of the family, and so having them in prison ‎adds to their agony. After the arrests, the atmosphere of terror in many of the small towns ‎in northern Iran is such that many family members are afraid to even pursue their cases ‎with government officials and agencies for fear of reprisals. It is because of this fear that ‎law enforcement agents feel comfortable to ignore the requests of the family members ‎enquiring about the whereabouts of their loved-ones.‎

Web Resourec: Rooz Online