Today, the cities of Susangard, Behbahan, Abadan, Izeh, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Ramhormoz, and Shadegan, staged protest rallies that were confronted by military forces with arrests, tear gas, and bullets.
Widespread protests started in Khuzestan province on the night of Thursday, July 15, in response to the resource mismanagement that has led to the water crisis. Protests have been going for the past seven days and have spread to at least 22 cities.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, at least four civilians and one police officer have been confirmed as killed since the start of the protests. HRANA was able to verify the identities of those killed since Thursday as Meysam Echresh from Taleghani in Mahshahr, Mostafa Naeemawi from Shadegan, Ghasem Naseri from Kut Abdollah, and officer Zargham Parast in Mahshahr. According to local sources, a number of additional citizens have been injured during the protests as well.
Disconnections and a severe decrease in Internet speed in some cities of Khuzestan province have been reported on social media. Previously, a resident of Ahvaz told HRANA that the internet of all carriers is disconnected, and people cannot access the internet through phones.
Received videos show the presence of a large number of military forces around Azadi Square in Tehran and the security atmosphere for facing possible protests.
The scope of the violence against the protesting people of Khuzestan have elicited reactions from numerous different sections of society. In a statement, the Tehran Teachers’ Union condemned the suppression of the Khuzestan protests and blamed the government for the resource problems. 330 artists gave a statement which condemned the suppression of protests and expressed solidarity with the protesters.
Several film and television artists gathered in front of the Artists’ House to show their support. The players of the Abadan Oil Industry soccer team, the Iranian Writers Association, and the Iranian Cinema House all issued statements in support of the protesters, and calling on the relevant authorities to address the situation.
Today, videos broadcasted on social networks show people marching in Yazdanshahr in Isfahan in support of the people of Khuzestan. Also, people in Masjed Soleyman, Ramshir, Shahrui village of Behbahan, and Ahvaz in Khuzestan marched and held protest rallies.