February 16, 2023 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 457

Iran's Security Services Target Baloch Women

February 16, 2023 | By Rudam Azad*
Iran | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 457

On Friday 10, 2023, as they have done every Friday after prayer, Baloch demonstrators came out on the streets of Zahedan, the capital of Iran's Balochistan, to protest the Iranian regime and to raise their voices in condemnation to the growing "trend" of Baloch women's "abduction" by the Iranian forces.

Baloch activists are trying to report all illegal arrests of women in the region and be their voice. These arbitrary arrests are better described as "abductions," as often these women are taken without a warrant and the families do not know their whereabouts. However, it is very hard to report each case, as the Iranian state-run media, security services, and prison are censoring the news.

(Source: Twitter)

The following is a review of some of the reported arbitrary arrests of Baloch women in the last few months.

The Arbitrary Arrest Of Kabri Huti

Recently, on February 8, the IRGC raided the home of 22-year-old Baloch girl Kabri Huti, resident in Kendwang (Qasrkand), and arrested her without a warrant, after she published some content on social media. She is an Industrial Engineering graduate from the University of Khash and a human rights activist campaigning against extra-judicial killing and the unlawful executions of Baloch people. According to reports, the girl was taken to an unknown location.[1] Finally, on February 12, the family managed to visit Huti in the central prison of Zahedan.[2] She was charged with "political activity in cyberspace," but no information about her condition is available.[3] There are reports that Huti has received a release order from the court in Zahedan, but Iranian intelligence agencies are delaying her release. According to reports, she was supposed to return home today, but her family still does not know when she will be released.

(Source: Twitter)

The Rape Of Maho Baloch by Chabahar Police Chief

At the end of September, Molavi Abdolhamid, the most influential religious and social leader of the Sunni community in the Shi'ite-dominated Islamic Republic of Iran, implicitly confirmed that Maho Baloch, a 15-year-old Baloch girl, was raped by Chabahar police chief Ebrahim Kochzahi.[4] Baloch residents say that Kochzahi is commonly using rape as a weapon to blackmail Baloch female protestors and traumatize the male family members in order not to let their women go out to protest.

Chabahar police chief Ebrahim Kochzahi (Source: Twitter)

London-based media outlet Iran International reported: "Ebrahim Khouchakzai, the commander of the police in the city of Chabahar, allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl when he was investigating a murder case in one of the neighborhoods of the city. Apparently, the girl was the daughter of one of the neighbors of the murdered woman and Khouchakzai took her to his office for questioning and raped her. The girl came back home and told her mother that the colonel stripped her clothes off under the pretext of checking her body and then raped her. According to the latest reports, the police forces of the city have taken hostage three relatives of the rape victim to force her family to publicly deny the reports and promise not to file complaint against Colonel Khouchakzai."[5]

It is worth noting that human rights groups have reported several cases of rape by Iranian security forces in Balochistan. For example, in June 2018, Iran's Basij gang-raped 41 women in the area of Iranshahr. On June 18, 2018, after the Iranshahr's Sunni Imam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri revealed in a Friday sermon that 41 girls were raped in the city, Iran's prosecutor-general threatened to prosecute him.[6]

The Arrest Of Six Baloch Girls

On September 28, 2022, Iranian intelligence arrested six teenage Baloch girls for protesting the rape of Maho Baloch. Their names are Nagin Mohtashmi, Sara Raisi, Arzoo Raisi, Mehrnaz Omarzahi, Fatima Baloch, and Ayesha Baloch. In October, it was reported that the girls were in a detention center of the intelligence department.[7] No further news were reported about their conditions.

The Arrest Of Faezeh Barahui

In November, Faezeh Barahui, a 23-year-old Baluch student at Azad University in Zahedan, was arrested for protesting the rape of Maho Baloch. In the trial she was denied representation by an independent lawyer. There is unconfirmed news that the regime may sentence her to death.

Faezeh Barahui (Source: Twitter)

The Arrest Of Ghazal And Rehana Pakzad

According to Baloch sources, in the beginning of January 2023, law enforcement agencies "abducted" two sisters Rehana Pakzad, a women's swimmer instructor, and Ghazal Pakzad, a 30-year-old clothing designer, in their home in Zahedan. Family sources confirmed that they were arrested without warrant and moved to an unknown location. According to reports, the two sisters belong to the Baha'i faith and, before the arrest, were active on social media to promote human rights. They were charged for "belief in the Baha'i faith and activity on Instagram." On February 3, it was reported that the two sisters were temporarily released on bail for about $12,000 each.[8]

Ghazal Pakzad (Source: Twitter)

Ghazal and Rehana Pakzad (Source: Twitter)

The Arrest Of Rahimeh Kurdi Tamim

On January 30, 2021, Iranian intelligence agencies arrested a Baloch woman named Rahimeh Kurdi Tamim, wife of political activist Aamir Hamzeh Raisi, to pressure her husband to surrender. The IRGC raided her house with no warrant and took her to a detention center.

It is worth noting that six months earlier she was detained for three days and was granted bail because she was pregnant and about to give birth. After her release, the intelligence agencies kept on threatening her. At the time of the arrest, Tamimi's baby was only five months old and remained with the grandfather. The child has a congenital heart disease because was born with a septal defect (hole in the heart) and is physically fragile.[9]

No news was reported about Tamim's conditions since her arbitrary arrest in 2021.

(Source: Twitter)


In Baloch culture, women represent a high moral authority and value and if someone mistreats them it is tantamount to a violation of the Baloch code of conduct and is considered a crime and an unforgettable offense. The Iranian regime is deliberately blackmailing and threatening Baloch families by abducting, sexually abusing, and torturing their wives and daughters. Baloch people see this behavior as a collective punishment on behalf of the Islamic republic. For this reason, every Friday, the sacred day of worship in Islam, Baloch people demonstrate against dictatorship to defend their fundamental rights, sovereignty, and dignity, as the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom," reverberates through the streets of all cities in Balochistan.

*Rudam Azad is a Baloch writer, Baloch representative, and Human Rights activist. He can be reached on Twitter, @RudamAzad


[1], February 10, 2023.

%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86/, February 13, 2023.

[3], February 13, 2023.

[4] It is worth noting that Baloch Sunni cleric Molana Abdul Ghaffar Naqshbandi, the interim imam of the city of Rask, disclosed the rape of Maho Baloch and called for the trial of Chabahar police chief Ebrahim Kochzahi.

[5], September 24, 2022.

[6], June 18, 2018.

[7], October 6, 2022.

[8], February 3, 2023.

[9], February 6, 2021.

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