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News from inside Iran: Ramadan crackdowns, police clashes, and continued truck driver protests

Food purveyors face state-led crackdowns during Ramadan

On Sunday, June 12, Iranian authorities closed several fast-food restaurants in Karaj, Iran’s fourth-largest city, due to selling food supplies during Ramadan.

Police and “discretionary punishments officers”, who can arrest citizens for crimes that do not carry standard punishments but are against state or religious interests, carried out the crackdown. Government agents had previously tried to blackmail supermarkets and restaurants in exchange for a special permit to sell food during Ramadan.

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A showdown between shopkeepers and authorities occurred, resulting in two arrests. Additionally, the closure of a bakery in Heider-Abad resulted in a physical clash with police. During a raid, the bakery’s proprietor attempted to show his license and deposit receipt in order to get the guards out of his shop. He was beaten with a baton and transferred to a police station, a response that generated protest and outrage from many at the scene of the events.


Truck driver protest carries on, results in beatings, arrests

Truck drivers have continued their ongoing protest on Saturday, June 11th, at Bushehr, the capital city of Bushehr province in Iran.

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Police officers, sent as government officers, asked the truck drivers to end the rally. They subsequently raided the crowd, beating and arresting about thirty of the drivers.

“We just want to address the problems of transport, especially the determination of fares and commission rates, as well as getting a fair turn in loading the cargos”, said one bus driver. “Nevertheless, we are brutally mistreated.”

Protests against municipal agents after disabled man harassed

On Sunday, June 12, municipal agents began harassing a disabled man who was playing music at a busy intersection in Tehran.

The actions of the agents, who are employed in the style of mercenaries, generated a heated response from shopkeepers and passersby. Many drivers, particularly taxi drivers, left their cars to verbally protest the man’s treatment.

The swelling crowd began to engulf the mercenaries, who eventually apologized to the man before fleeing the area.

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