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After One Death, Pleas to Free Remaining Abducted Iranian Soldiers

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Governance, Protest, War & Conflict
source: Nima Arabi, Twitter

Source: Nima Arabi, via Twitter

An Iranian soldier named Jamshid Danaeifard was murdered [1] this week after he and four other border guards were abducted [2] near Pakistan's border by Baloch Sunni Muslim insurgent group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) in February.

In exchange for the release of the men, the insurgents have demanded that the Iranian government release 50 prisoners belonging to their group, 300 other prisoners they describe as “Sunite citizens,” and 50 women they claim are held in revolutionary guard prisons in Syria.

Jaish-al-Adl (considered a terrorist group by Iran) operate in Sistan-Baluchestan [3], one of Iran's largest and poorest provinces, which is home to 2 million Sunni-muslims. The ethnic Baloch and Sunni-muslim insurgents in the area have been demanding more autonomy from the Shia-government in Tehran in recent years.

Iranians have been mourning Danaeifard's death on Twitter on the hashtag #FreeIranianSoldiers [4], and continue to fear for the fate of the four other men. Some have also shared artwork [5] (like the image above) on Twitter as a tribute.

On Twitter, Masood says the murdered soldier was a young father who never had the chance to see his newborn child. He tweeted [6]:

Sgh Pa tweeted [8] in low hopes for the release of the soldiers:

If they had taken two Mullahs [clerics] instead of five soldiers, the government would release 1,000 prisoners [to get them back].

abducted soldiers [16]

Jamshid Danaeifard among fellow abductees. Photo shared by 55online.ir

Mohammad Ali Shabani tweeted [17] about a protest in front of the Pakistani embassy in Tehran.