New cases have been opened against civil activists Arash Sadeghi, Arash Keykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Narges Mohammadi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni in Branch 2 of Evin Court.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of the activists’ demonstration of solidarity with the people of Khuzestan in Tehran.
On July 20, these civil activists were beaten and arrested during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Tehran and were released hours later.
The activists were informed of the opening of a new case against them via text message. The text message states that the reason for filing a case is “participation in an illegal gathering in front of the Ministry of Interior”.
Public rallies began on the night of Thursday, July 15, in Khuzestan province to protest the frequent water cut and mismanagement of officials in the Khuzestan Province. The protests have spread to at least 41 cities in two weeks. HRANA has previously reported on these protests.
On Tuesday, July 20, civil activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni, were released from custody a couple of hours after their arrest.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the activists were beaten and arrested while marching in support of the people of Khuzestan.
Before their arrest, they had said in a video that a number of them had been beaten in front of the Interior Ministry by military forces.
During the last six days, people in Khuzestan province have been protesting frequent water cuts, and lack of water resources management in the cities of Ramhormoz, Shavur, Karkheh, Chamran, Kut Seyed Naeem, Shush, Ahvaz, Abadan, Hamidiyeh, Bostan, Susangard, Mahshahr, Khorramshahr, Shadegan, Kut Abdollah, Mollasani, Hoveyzeh, Abu Homeyzeh, and Veys.
Today, July 20, the widespread protests in Khuzestan over the ongoing water crisis continued for a sixth consecutive day. Since the start of the protests on Thursday, provincial authorities have confirmed that at least two civilians have been killed by military forces.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, today’s protests took place in the cities of Izeh, Khorramshahr, Ahvaz, Shadegan, Abadan, Susangard, and Behbahan. HRANA received reports of shootings and internet shutdowns in some areas, as well as a report of the death of a protester, but neither have been confirmed as of this writing.
Today a number of prominent civil activists also gathered in Tehran to voice their support for the protesters in Khuzestan, and were met with violence from security forces. Activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pooran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni were arrested by security forces in Tehran and taken to an unknown location.
Below is our updated map of the protests of the last five days.
Watch our compilation of footage from the protests.
Read our fact sheet for more info on what is going on in Khuzestan.
Several activists were arrested in Tehran following a rally in support of the citizens of Khuzestan amidst the ongoing protests over water shortages in the province.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the arrested activists have been identified as Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pooran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni.
The detention of these citizens was violent and accompanied by beatings. Earlier today, in a video, Narges Mohammadi stated, “We wanted to gather in front of the Ministry of Interior to protest the killing of innocent – thirsty people in Khuzestan, but we were treated violently by security forces and some of us were beaten. Now we are marching in a street in Tehran to support the people of Khuzestan.”
During the last six days, people in Khuzestan Province have been protesting the frequent water cuts and mismanagement of water sources in at least 20 cities.
Since the second day of the protests, provincial officials have confirmed that two citizens, 30-year-old Mostafa Naeemawi from Shadegan, and 17-year-old Ghasem Naseri (Khaziri) from the Kut Abdollah area of Ahvaz, were killed during the protests. HRANA has received reports, which have yet to be verified, of a third civilian additionally being shot dead by military forces.
The exact status of the detained activists and their whereabouts are unknown at the time of writing.
Behzad Homayouni, civil rights activist, was arrested after visiting Mohammad Mahdavifar in Aran o Bidgol on June 30, 2019. His whereabouts and the reason of his arrest are still unknown. Mahdavifar was visiting his hometown while on a furlough from life in exile in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Homayouni was arrested at Mahdavifar’s house without any warrant.
In September 2018, Homayouni was sentenced to one-year prison term and he was also been banned from leaving the country or any activity in media or cyber space for two years. He was arrested with his son earlier in February 11, 2017 when holding a banner in support of Narges Mohammadi and Mohammad Mahdavifar. He was released in February 19, 2018. Homayouni is a disabled veteran of Iran-Iraq war.