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 21, 2019

Posted on: January 21st, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 21st, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb, civil rights activist and firefighter, was arrested today. He was in three day sit in by Shahriar governorate protesting his laying off after 17 years of working there. He was released after few hours.

(2) Baha’i citizens, Mahboub Habibi, Pejman Shahriari, and Kourosh Rohani, were sentenced to one-year imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state”. They have been arrested last year and were released on bail in September.

(3) The case of the detained lawyer, Amir Salar Davoudi, was transferred to the Tehran Revolutionary Court. He is banned from visiting or contacting his wife. He was arrested on November 20 on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(4) Gholamhossein Karbaschi, the executives of Construction Party, was arrested earlier today. He had been sentenced to one-year prison term earlier in Isfahan court. His lawyer reported that Karbaschi was released after few hours.

(5) The judicial committee of the parliament approved on Monday a bill, according to which, children born to Iranian mothers and foreign fathers are permitted to receive Iranian citizenship.

(6) Two prisoners of Urmia prison, Mohammad Patayesh and Kamal Abdollahi have been sentenced to 14 years in prison, combined, on charges of “espionage” and “supporting a Kurdish opposition group.

(7) A Baha’i citizen, Atousa Ahmadaei, who was arrested in Tehran on Sunday, was transferred to Evin prison. The intelligent officers also searched her home and confiscated her belongings indicating that her charge is “acting against the national security’.

(8) Several lawyers wrote an open letter to Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javid Rehman, to express their concerns about Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian ‘s arrest. They were arrested after the broadcast of their under-torture confessions on the national television.

(9) More than five protests were organized in Iran on January 21, 2019. The workers of National power distribution Company in Tehran, the municipality workers in Lowshan, the investors of Caspian financial institution, and the customers of its branch in Mashhad, Badr Toos institution have held separate protests requesting their demands. Moreover, 300 workers of Nishabur municipality have 30 million Toman [approcimately 3000 USD] unpaid wages, each. They were protesting multiple times in January.

(10) Hamid Babaei, a detained Ph.D. student in finance at Liège University in Belgium, who is serving his six years prison sentence, returned to Evin Prison by the end of his furlough. He was arrested while visiting his family in Iran in 2013 on the “espionage” related charges.

(11) A worker died in Khorramshahr and another worker was injured in Bardaskan in Razavi Khorasan province, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces.

(12) A prisoner accused of murder, was spared from hanging on gallows by paying the blood money and consent of next of kin. He was spending 14 years in prison.