Video footage showing Iranian regime officials brutally assaulting a street vendor in Tehran has gone viral on social media, with widespread anger at the savage assault against the defenseless young man whose apparent ‘crime’ was to be too poor to pay the “protection” money extorted by the government municipality officers.
After the vicious assault, filmed covertly by a passer-by with a phone camera, in which one officer from the municipality can be seen throwing the vendor to the ground whilst another physically attacks and beats the man, a regime police officer standing nearby then arrested the victim of their crime, proceeding to once again assault the young man.
This sort of Mafiosi-style behavior is not unusual behavior for regime officials, with similar clips of covertly filmed assaults by regime officials distributed on social media embarrassing the regime previously and causing widespread anger among the public.
This latest assault follows the death on August 12 in regime custody of another street vendor, this time in the city of Qom, after he was publicly assaulted by municipality officials there before being detained. Following widespread public anger over the case, the Prosecutor-General summoned five municipality employees who were reportedly involved in the arrest.
In a similar case in the summer of 2014, Ali Cheragi, a street vendor in Tehran died in hospital after being viciously battered by personnel from a garbage recycling contractor firm, who used brass knuckledusters in their murderous attack on him.
Later the same year, another Ahwazi Arab street vendor, Younis Assakereh from the city of Mohammerah in the Arab speaking Ahwaz region, died in a hospital in Tehran after setting himself alight in a despairing protest against municipality staff who destroyed his fruit stall and his meagre stock of merchandise – his only possessions and means of making a living – supposedly on the grounds that he had blocked a public passageway.
Many street vendors have complained that the country’s municipal and law enforcement officials are more interested in extorting “protection money” from vendors than in performing their role in maintaining order and carrying out their professional duties.
The latest attacks have taken place despite the fact that a supposed reformist is now managing the Tehran municipality, with the city’s council also run by nominally reformist supporters of President Hassan Rouhani.