Saturday , 25 September 2021

Tear gas and bullets fired at locals during water protests in Iran

Iran-HRM – Water protests in Iran extended into an eighth day on July 22, while the state security forces used deadly force to crack down on protesters.

The protests continued in cities such as Bushehr, Mahshahr, Behbahan, Izeh, Ahvaz and other cities in Khuzestan province.

Demonstrations in support of the people of Khuzestan also took place in cities such as Aligudarz in Lorestan province and Shahinshahr in Isfahan province, with the security forces openine fire on protesters.

Videos posted on social media show a person killed and several others injured in Aligudarz on Thursday evening. Riot police shot tear gas and used pellet guns and even live bullets against protesters.

The state security forces used pellet guns and even live bullets against protesters last night in Aligudarz, W #Iran
Local reports say that several protesters were shot and killed by security forces. #خوزستان_تنها_نیست pic.twitter.com/qsHsDzCbqJ— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) July 23, 2021

Warning
Jul. 22 – Aligudarz, W #Iran
Video purports to show a young protester killed during #IranProtests in support of Khuzestan.
Again we cannot yet confirm the video but security forces have no qualms about killing protesters. #خوزستان_تنها_نیست pic.twitter.com/xElSt4d7ft— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) July 22, 2021

State-run media also confirmed the death of one unidentified person during water protests in Aligudarz, western Iran. According to IRIB, a 20-year-old man was shot and killed by “unknown elements” and two 16-year-old teenagers were injured.

Many protesters were shot with pellets and numerous videos showed the bodies of young men and even children injured and bleeding from the wounds.

Local reports said Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), used by the regime for brutal crackdowns, arrested dozens of protesters in the past two days in Ahvaz and other cities in Khuzestan Province. The detainees were taken to unknown locations.

The death of at least eight protesters has been confirmed since the beginning of the water protests in Iran. On Thursday, a 17-year-old Hadi Bahmani, who was killed by security forces during the protests in Khuzestan, was buried. Hadi Bahmani was a worker from Izeh.

Another video from the funeral for 17-year-old Hadi Bahmani, killed by security forces in Izeh, SW #Iran during #IranProtests over water shortage.#خوزستان_تنها_نیست pic.twitter.com/Th1u28wn81— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) July 23, 2021

Internet disruptions continued the eighth night, locals reporting they had no mobile network.

Netblocks, an organization that monitors international Internet outages, reported ongoing internet disruptions in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Khuzestan water protests

In the past eight nights, water protests in Iran have taken place in over 30 cities in Khuzestan province, Isfahan province in central Iran, Lorestan province in western Iran, Bushehr province in southern Iran, and Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran.

Amnesty International wrote today that security forces used live ammunition and birdshot to crush water protests in Iran.

The report wrote that video footage from the past week, coupled with consistent accounts from the ground, indicate security forces used deadly automatic weapons, shotguns with inherently indiscriminate ammunition, and tear gas to disperse protesters.

Regime officials vow to crackdown on water protests in Iran

As protests intensify in Khuzestan and spread to other Iranian cities, Iranian officials have announced that protesters will be dealt with. The governor of Behbahan called the protesters “norm-breakers” and the Ahwaz prosecutor called them “troublemakers, foreign mercenaries, hypocrites and separatists” and threatened that they would face “severe” treatment.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Khuzestan wrote in a statement on July 21 that the demands of the people of Khuzestan should be answered, especially those of livestock farmers and farmers who have suffered from the lack of water. However, he warned that “rioters”, “foreign mercenaries”, “hypocrites”, and the “evil anti-revolutionary elements” would be “countered decisively” and “dealt with severely according to the law” for disturbing the peace.

The Governor of Dezful, another city in Khuzestan that joined the protests last night also warned protesters. He called protesters “rioters” or “seditionists” and said those who “took advantage” of farmers’ protests by blocking roads and causing “problems” would be “severely dealt with”.

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, claimed on his Twitter account that the security forces were ordered to release the recent detainees who had not committed any criminal acts. He claimed that the protesters were released while the provincial authorities of Khuzestan and other cities did not provide information and statistics on the number and names of those arrested.

Regime officials blame “rioters”

Officials in the Iranian regime blamed the killings and injuries on “rioters” or “seditionists”. The regime uses the word seditionists to refer to protesters. State-run media said 26-year-old Mostafa Naeemawi was killed by “seditionists” in the water protests in Iran.

“We will not allow some opportunists in the province of Khuzestan create insecurity,” Qasem Rezaie, the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Police force, said in a video message, according to state-run media. He also added that the “people of Khuzestan” will not allow foreign-dependent groups to threaten their peace and security.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Khuzestan wrote in a statement on July 21 that the demands of the people of Khuzestan should be answered, especially those of livestock farmers and farmers who have suffered from the lack of water. However, he warned that “rioters”, “foreign mercenaries”, “hypocrites”, and the “evil anti-revolutionary elements” would be “countered decisively” and “dealt with severely according to the law” for disturbing the peace.

This is while after eight nights of protests, the water problem has not been solved in the southwestern province. Security forces used brutal force against demonstrators from the first day of the protests by Iranian Arabs, who were only chanting for water.

0