Activist Arrests and Tear Gas: Khuzestan Protests Continue Into Sixth Day

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 Arrested in Tehran Following a Rally in Support of Protesters 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.