Report on Current Nationwide Protests: Hundreds Arrested; Dozens Killed and Injured

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:


Three Workers Killed and One Injured Due to Unsafe Workplace Conditions

A total of three workers have been killed and one injured in recent accidents that were brought about by unsafe workplace conditions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, on November 2, in three workplace accidents in Qorveh, Mahabad and Hafshejan cities, three workers lost their lives and one more was injured.

Ali Naseri, the head of the fire department in Qorveh announced the death of a worker due to the fire that broke out in a bakery.

“In a bakery in a district in the center city of Qorveh, a gas leak from a gas pipe, which had been branched off illegally to be used for bread baking machine, caused a fire in this bakery,”  Naseri commented. “After the neighbors reported the fire, the fire department dispatched the firefighting team to the spot. The firefighters saved two workers from the fire. One of them had severe burns, who was transferred to the hospital.”

The head of the pre-hospital emergency care unit of Qorveh Shahrokh Mohammadi revealed that the 55-year-old baker died in a hospital in Sanandaj city due to severe burns in several parts of his body.

It is worth noting that many bakeries in both urban and rural areas use off-brand gas lines which are not up to code, and this can lead to gas leaks and fires.

In another workplace accident in Mahabad, a worker was poisoned by carbon monoxide gas.

“Following an emergency call, the Emergency Center of Police 110 sent a team to the spot,” the police commander of Mahabad stated. “Preliminary examination of the emergency team revealed the victim, a 50-year-old man, has died of poisoning due to inhaling carbon monoxide gas while he was asleep.”

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA, two months after a work accident, in a sugar factory in Hafshjan city in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, one worker died from severe injuries. Reportedly, the victim died from a neck fracture after eight heavy sugar bags fell on top of on him.

“The height of the sugar bag piles should not be more than 1.8 meters,” HSE manager of Hafshjan sugar factory Arash Heyday said. “The government has to take action to unload these warehouses. However, because of the delay in unloading and lack of room, we have to make higher stacks which endanger the workers.”

Iran ranks 102 in workplace safety out of 189 countries.