Zahedan’s Bloody Friday Must be Investigated as Crimes Against Humanity

Sept. 30, 2023, 10:51 a.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); September 30, 2023: A year has passed since Zahedan’s Bloody Friday when at least 104 people including 14 children and 4 women were gunned down with assault rifles and machine guns within hours after worshippers gathered to protest after Friday Prayer. Some of those killed were bystanders. Yet, the perpetrators of this heinous crime have not been held accountable.

Instead, on the eve of the Bloody Friday anniversary, when people gathered after Friday prayer to mark the day, Islamic Republic authorities brutally crushed protests in cities including Zahedan, Rask, Khash, Taftan and Souran. State forces used live ammunition, pellet bullets and tear gas against unarmed protesters.

Furthermore, at least 20 Sunni civil activists were arrested at their homes in Bandar Abbas, Avaz, Bastak, Khour, Bandar Khamir, Podol, Laft and Souza in Qeshm Island in the days leading to the first anniversary.

Recognising that justice is impossible under the Islamic Republic rule and recalling the scale and organised nature of crimes committed on Bloody Friday, Iran Human Rights urges the international community to refer its investigation as crimes against humanity to international judicial mechanisms.

Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “Killing more than a hundred unarmed men, women and children is a clear example of crimes against humanity and Ali Khamenei and the forces under his command must be held accountable.”

“Despite enduring one of the bloodiest crimes of the last 30 years, the Islamic Republic couldn’t break the resistance of Baluch people to achieve their fundamental rights. And Zahedan’s weekly protests in the last year is proof of that,” he added.

On 30 September 2022, Islamic Republic authorities committed one of their bloodiest crimes in Zahedan. On what became known as “Bloody Friday,” people gathered after Friday prayer in Zahedan to protest against the rape of a 15-year-old Baluch girl by Chabahar’s police chief which was bloodily suppressed by live ammunition predominantly aimed at protesters’ heads and chests by security forces. 

On 3 February 2023, Moulavi Abdol Hamid, the Maki Mosque Imam stated that on Bloody Friday, more than 100 people were killed and 300 injured, “15 of whom were blinded, some had spinal cord injuries and a few had lost their legs.”

Footage and witness testimony analysed by Iran Human Rights shows a level of brutality and unspeakable cruelty against the Sunni Baluch not seen in other parts of Iran.


According to the latest figures, at least 104 people including 14 children and 4 women, were killed on Bloody Friday. Of those, five died of injuries sustained on the day in the ensuing days or weeks. At least four Bloody Friday protesters are also facing the death penalty. Mansour Dahmardeh and Ebrahim Narouyi have been sentenced to death and Farhad Nakhaei and Mohammad Fouladi are facing death penalty charges. Ebrahim Rigi, who was arrested and charged with death penalty charges for helping the wounded on Bloody Friday, later died in the 12th District Police Station with clear signs of torture on his body.

Despite a year passing, none of the perpetrators have been held accountable. On the one year anniversary, Iran Human Rights calls for the case to be referred to international judicial bodies to be investigated as crimes against humanity.