Zaniar (Matin) Tondro, a 17-year-old student who was shot by Iranian forces during the recent anti-government protests in Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan province, on 27 October 2022, has lost sight of one of his eyes.

Hamzeh Tondro, the young man’s father, spoke to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) about his son’s situation and said: “My son was first wounded on 20 September 2022, on the night that Zakaria Khiyal lost his life, and we treated him at home. The second time, he was wounded by pellet shots fired by the military-security forces, on 27 October, near the Keshavarzi square in Piranshahr, as a result of which he lost sight of one of his eyes.”

The father continued: “On that night, the protests began peacefully, but security forces attacked people and my son was wounded because he was at the forefront of the protests. Zanyar later said that after something hit him in the head, he tried very hard not to be arrested, but he failed to do so. He said that he just remembered the security forces putting him in a car. He vomited blood after eight-nine pellet shots hit his head, and the security forces thought that he had no chance to survive and left him to die. People found him and took him to the hospital, but they were told in Piranshahr hospital that he could not be treated there, so they transferred him to Orumiyeh. I was able to reach him in Orumiyeh, but he was in such a state that I did not know if he was alive or dead. I was told to transfer my son to Tabriz immediately. So, we took a private ambulance and transferred him to Imam Reza Hospital in Tabriz. From there, we were sent to Nikukari Hospital to diagnose the condition of his eyes. The doctors of this hospital helped us a lot. They said that they first needed a neurologist’s opinion so that they could understand whether they should operate on his head or his eyes first. Finally, his eye was operated first. After that, they sent us back to Imam Reza hospital and my son was hospitalised there for about 10 days.”

Tondro added: “During this time, we were under enormous pressure from the security and police forces. On the tenth day, officers from Police Station 11 came to the hospital and took me to the basement of the hospital and severely beat and insulted me. Later, the nurses of the hospital intervened and prevented the continuation of the beating. Due to the pressure of the security agencies and the advice of the hospital doctors, we took my son out of the hospital on the same day on my own responsibility. After living secretly in Iran for a while, we were forced to leave the country after learning of the arrest warrants issued by the Piranshahr court.”