According to news from different cities of Iran, public rallies were held on 24 December to condemn Turkish government’s crimes against Kurdish civilians following a call of action by Kurdish political and civil activists urging solidarity with Kurds in northern Kurdistan (Turkey).

In the cities of Ilam, Kermanshah (Kermashan), Sanandaj (Sine) and Tehran, a number of rallies were held despite security forces arresting protesters.

Witnesses on the ground described the presence of security forces as “extensively heavy-handed” at the rallies held in such cities.

An eyewitness in the city of Sanandaj said: “Demonstrators in Azadi Square gathered at around 1600 [local time], but the police and gunmen of the special forces on motorcycles prevented the people from gathering in the streets that leads to the Azadi Square.”

“The demonstrators then marched toward Ferdowsi Avenue, but many were attacked by police and special security forces, who detained many young people, beat them on the spot and forcefully dragged them into the prison police vans,” the eyewitness source from Sanandaj said.

The source said: “Elderly women of the [pro-Kurdish] Mothers for Peace protested the police brutality against the youths, but the police and units of the special forces turned on them and beat the women with batons too. This made the people even more angrier” against the security forces.

“Twenty of the detained youths have since been held in an unknown location and their families have no idea where they are being imprisoned,” the source in Sanandaj added.

A source in the city of Kermanshah said that “the protest was held outside the building of the governorate of Kermanshah.”

The source said that “the rally came to an end with slogans in support of the Kurds in northern Kurdistan [Turkey] and people condemned the Turkish government’s onslaughts against Kurdish civilians.”

“The news of the rally in Tehran first circulated on social media and took place outside the Turkish Embassy, but demonstrators were finally forced to instead take the Istanbul Street after they were pushed by the security forces,” a source in Tehran said.

“Four people were arrested after the protest grew in numbers. The detained were immediately taken to police custody in the security detention of Tehran,” the source said.

The source added: “But they were released at 2200 [local time] after their mobile memory cards were confiscated and they signed a written pledge to not ever take part in such politically-motivated actions.”

Local KHRN sources in different cities such as Ilam, Oroumiyeh ( Urmiye ), Saqez and Marivan reported widespread presence of security forces and police in the public squares and streets ready to attack public gatherings”.

The civil activists in Illam had initially planned to hold the protest at the Koodak Park, but the large presence of the Iranian security forces had not allowed It take place, and they forcefully dispersed the protesters into the the nearby and surrounding streets.

Meanwhile, KRHN sources said the Iranian intelligence services in the town of Dehgolan had summoned three knwon local civil rights activists, Nemat Allah Rezaii, Sevan Ahmadi and Azad Abbasi, warning them against holding any kind of political rallies.