Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On August 25, 2018, five Hoveyzeh residents protesting the hiring practices of local petroleum companies were arrested.
HRANA reported the identity of the detainees: Majid Zahiri, Hakim Zahiri, Abbas Zahiri, Rahim Zahiri, and Hassan Zahiri, natives of the village of Zahiriya (also known as Zahiri).
An informed source told HRANA that the detainees were protesting “the hiring of a non-native workforce by the petroleum companies active in their village.”
July 2018 protests in the village of Zahiriya were among a number of protests this summer that were gaining momentum across the country, according to HRANA reports.
The report states that around 30 Zahiriya residents staged a stand-in on the road to the petroleum factories, in protest of their heavy pollution output as well as their apparent resistance to hiring local manpower.
Residents of Zahiriya have previously protested the companies’ reluctance to aid in solving the region’s rampant unemployment by offering work opportunities to locals.
The village of Zahiriya, a tributary of the city of Hoveyzeh, located in the Khuzestan province, occupies a region covering the active petroleum fields of northern and southern Azadegan and northern and southern Yaran. It is adjacent to Hoor al-Azim, the Iranian portion of the Mesopotamian Marshes, a 2016 UNESCO world heritage site.