During the last two weeks, triggered by food price hikes, nationwide protests erupted in more than 31 cities across 10 provinces. HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has recorded 53 demonstrations so far.
According to HRANA, on Friday, May 6, 2022, following the government’s decision to cut subsidies on essential food items such as dairy products, flour, cooking oil, chicken, and eggs leading to soaring prices, the call for rallying against soaring prices went viral on social media. In the following days, several protests broke out in Khuzestan Province and soon swept through numerous cities across the country.
Prior to these protests, a series of protests and gatherings of teachers, labor workers and the retirees who had lost their pensions due to the government’s risky financial decisions had been sweeping across the country leading to dozens being arrested.
The new rounds of protests sparked initially in Susangerd City and other neighboring cities in Khuzestan Province. In the following days, at least 30 Arab-speaking citizens were arrested by security forces.
Soon after, the protests spread to other cities and provinces. The videos received from citizen journalists indicate that the protestors chanted slogans against inflation as well as the Iranian regime leaders, including President Ebrahim Raeisi and Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The map below shows the locations where the protests were. As the map shows, the protests took place in the following cities: Izeh, Susangerd, Hamidieh, Ahvaz, Mahshahr, Masjed Soleiman, Shadegan, Jarahi Town Mahshahr, Dorud, Andimeshk, Dezful, Shahrekord, Junaqan, Fashafouyeh, Yasuj, Ardabil, Farsan, Khorramabad, Dehdasht, Borujerd, Suq, Yazd, Golpayegan, Cholicheh, Rasht, Neyshabur, Surshjan, Hafshejan, Babaheydar, Karevan Town and Pordanjan.
In total, 53 protests have been recorded. Moreover, 45 times, the attempts to start a protest were foiled due to the heavy presence of police and security forces in the streets.
The map below shows the locations of 53 protests and the time periods.
During these protests, at least on 22 occasions in 14 cities, the police and security forces used tear gas, warning shots, pellet guns and in some cases heavy weapons against the protestors. In nine cities, tear gas and in 14 cities warning shots were used to scatter the crowds. In eight cities, security forces fired straight toward the crowds. Reportedly, security forces have used pellet guns, Kalashnikov assault rifles and paintball guns to disperse the protestors.
The map below shows the places where crackdowns and unrestrained shootings have been reported.
Since the beginning of the protests on Friday, May 6, the government disrupted the internet in several areas in Ahvaz in an attempt to prevent the protests. In the days that followed, Internet disruption was also reported in at least 10 cities.
In addition to intentional Internet disruption, the press was banned from covering the protests.
According to the reports obtained from local sources, at least 449 individuals were arrested during the protests.
So far, six people have been confirmed dead. These people have been identified as Pishali Ghalebi Hajivand (Dezful), Saadat Hadipour (Hafshejan), Jamshid Mokhtari Junaqani (Junaqan), Omid Soltani (Andimeshk), Hamid Ghasempour (Farsan City), and Behrooz Eslami (Babaheydar). HRANA can only confirm the reports on the death of the first two individuals mentioned above.
From all videos of protests which are circulating on social media, HRANA has verified the authenticity of 30 video reports which compilation you can watch below:
Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.
Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.
Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.
The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.
According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:
Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.
Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:
Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.
The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 3rd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
(1) Kourosh Karampour, a teacher and a poet, was beaten and arrested in Abadan. He had been summoned to Ministry of Education because of his interviews in support of teachers’ strikes and protests in the last few months.
(2) Mohsen Valadkhani, a detained Telegram activist, was released from prison after finishing his one-year sentence. He was charged with ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’ and ‘propaganda against the state’.
(3) Child abuse in Mashhad caused the death of a six-year-old girl. Hadiseh was transferred to a hospital on December 25th and died yesterday. Her body shows signs of torture such as burn wound infections on her genital and the rest of her body.
(4) Ahmad Taghavi, a retired teacher and a union activist, was arrested in the city of Abhar in Zanjan province. The reason of his arrest and his whereabouts are unknown.
(5) Four Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists were released on bail in Sarab. Sahand Moali, Vahid Nourahmadi, Heidar Mazinani, and Mohammad Ranjbari had been arrested on December 31.
(6) Mehdi Yarrahi, a pop singer, was banned from working because he wore work costume of the workers of Iran National Steel Company on the stage. Also, “Jame Sabz”, the producer company of his new music video “Pareh Sang”, in which he pointed out Khuzestan issues, was suspended.
(7) The head of Housing Foundation in Golestan province reported that approximately 128 thousand houses and schools in villages are prone to natural disasters. This would cause catastrophes and villagers’ migration.
(8) Four human rights organizations published an annual report of Military forces monitoring in remote areas: more than 300 injuries and deaths in 11 provinces.
(9) Mohsen Farahmand and Mohammad Dadresi were released on bail in Marivan. Hamid Parvazeh, Mohammad Parvazeh, and Salman Afra are still in prison. They are accused of ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’ and were denied access to a lawyer.
(10) Majid Khomami Asl was executed in Nowshahr today. He was charged with murder in a so-called honor-killing.
(11) Two mines were shut down over environmental pollution concerns.
(12) Department of Environment reported the arrest of 44 poachers in Mahabad and 199 poachers in Ardabil during the last eight months.
(13) 12 students were poisoned by a nonstandard gas heater in a Valiasr school of Tabriz. Two of them were transferred to hospital. Nonstandard heaters used in schools reportedly have caused catastrophes.
(14) One worker died and three were injured because of unsafe workplaces in Tabriz and Yazd on January 3, 2019.
(15) Hasan Shahreza, a detained Gonabadi dervish, was denied medical care in Fashafuieh prison. He has several shots of police shotgun in his body since he was arrested 10 months ago. Detained dervishes reportedly tried to take out bullets by tuna can lid.
(16) The city services workers of Borujerd, Dorud, Aleshtar, Kuhdasht, Chaghabal, and Khorramabad in Lorestan province have 115 billion Toman [$11M] unpaid wages combined. They have at least five months unpaid wages.