Al-Arabia – A video of a large crowd surrounding Iranian policemen in Tehran after they viciously beat up a street vendor and destroyed his small cart was widely circulated on social media on Wednesday.
A group of young men surrounded the policemen who were sat in their car. People in the crowd are heard demanding that the policemen get out of their car, chanting “come out”, but they refuse and cover their faces so as not to appear on camera.
Millions of Iranian citizens work as street vendors to make ends meet amid the rising poverty and ailing economic situation in the country. However, Iranian authorities legally ban those people from selling on the streets because of increasing complaints from storeowners.
Protests have heightened in the country, where on several occasions, demonstrators chant “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my soul is for Iran” in what translates public anger towards the spending of billions of Iranian money on militias who meddle in the affairs of Arab states.
This has come at the expense of a deterioration in Iranians’ living conditions.
One street vendor who was arrested during protests in January in the city of Arak died following reports of torture at an Iranian prison, however, authorities claimed that he had committed suicide.
Activists on social media circulated videos of protests that were carried out last year by street vendors who were mainly impoverished Ahwazis after municipality officials and policemen forcibly removed their products and carts.
At the time, vendors were chanting against the unfair distribution of wealth in the country, and the lack of job opportunities.
Activists also shared pictures of Younes Asakere’s funeral, a 34-year-old street vendor whose fruit cart was forcibly taken away by the police in 2015, after which he set himself on fire in front of the municipality and passed away.
Last Update: Thursday, 16 August 2018 KSA 08:47 – GMT 05:47