Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Posted on: November 18th, 2019

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.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 22, 2019

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 22nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. Retired educators and other retired government employees, Ghoflkar Company workers in Alborz, the municipality workers in Lowshan, Marivan, Borujerd, and Andimeshk, the workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Rasht, and the contractors of Tehran municipality have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Placed 1st in the Iranian University Master Studies Entrance Exam, Amir Reza Alipour Hashtali Amoli, was sentenced to six months in prison on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(3) In the last nine months, 56 workers died and 112 have been injured in the work-related incidents in East Azerbaijan province, which is a four percent increase over a year. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(4) 72 people have been arrested in a “mix gender party” in Sari. The detainees were transferred to the court. They may be able to get out of jail by posting bail, otherwise they would be imprisoned.

(5) Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a professor of journalism, was summoned to the Evin’s prosecutor’s office. He was an editor of several newspapers, including Kian, Toos, Jame’eh, Neshat, and Asr-e Azadegan.

(6) A Human rights lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, was sentenced to 19 years imprisonments. He is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 16 more years imprisonment for his new charge of “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion”.

(7) Behzad Shahsavar and Siamand Shahsavar, prisoners of the Intelligence detention center in Urmia, have been transferred to Naqadeh prison. They were accused of “corporation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(8) 23-year-old, Amin Pishdad, was transferred to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad. He had been arrested last year on blasphemy and espionage related charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison which was reduced in the appeals court to eight months.

(9) A Baha’i citizen, Soheil Haghdoost, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” for announcing and following up regarding his business’s forced closure. Also, he has been sentenced to a year in prison in March 2018.

(10) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(11) The workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, who were protesting their layoffs, have been arrested.

(12) Five students in Kashan were transferred to a hospital for gas poisoning because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in heater installation in the school.

(13) Three thousand villages in Sistan and Baluchestan do not have water distribution network. 46 percent of population in this province have access to the water sources.

(14) Members of the Iranian Writers Association, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bazhan have been arrested. They were summoned to the court on the “encouraging immorality or prostitution” and security-related charges, were imprisoned because they could not post a bail.

(15) 180 workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail have 18 months of unpaid wages. Kayson Project Management Company paid one months of their unpaid wages but there are still concerns that the remaining will be left unpaid.

(16) A prisoner accused of murdering his friend was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Tehran. He was spending 6 years in prison.

(17) Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, civil rights activist, was released on bail. He was arrested with Arsham Rezaei and Majid Hosseini on the charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “collusion against the state”. The two others’ whereabouts is still unknown.