Iran’s water scarcity protests result in third death, expanding to day 7 | Voice of America

From Washington-Drought-stricken water scarcity protests in southwestern Iran appear to have spread to more cities, with anxiety lasting until the seventh day, making it the third dead, officials said.

A video posted on social media appeared to show street protests on Wednesday in several parts of Khuzestan Province, including the cities of Susangerd and Masjed Soleiman. The demonstrators, allegedly in Masjed Soleiman, said, “Police, please support us.” This is a reference to local concerns that security forces will crack down on previous rallies.

Other social media videos appeared to show that Iranians were rallying in support of Khuzestan protesters in the neighboring city of Yazdenshar in Isfahan Province. The Isfahan rally will be the first such protest in the state since daily protests began last Thursday in Khuzestan and developed into the widest and most persistent turmoil Iran has seen in months. ..

VOA was unable to independently verify the videos allegedly from Khuzestan and Isfahan. Iran prohibits VOA from reporting domestically.

In another development, Iran’s state news site ILNA quoted Hassan Nabouti, chief executive officer of the city of Ize in Khuzestan, for reporting that one person had died in a local protest against water shortages on Tuesday.

Nabouti said the person was injured in protest and was taken to the hospital in a private car but sentenced to death. Nabouti said investigations were underway to identify the attackers and added that 14 guards were injured in the protest.

Iran’s national media previously reported that two men were killed in a shooting during a demonstration last Friday.

A social media video that appeared to be from a protest at Ize on Tuesday but could not be confirmed by VOA, protesters “death to Khamanei” and “Reza Shah, congratulate your soul.” I showed that I was chanting. I heard gunshots in those videos as well.

“Death to Khamenei” has been a general understatement of Iranian rebels who have been angry with the authoritarian rule of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in recent years.

“Reza Shah, bless your soul” was also issued in the previous wave of Iran’s street protests as a sign of love for Reza Shah, the founder of the former monarchy of Iran. .. Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, expelled Reza Shah’s son from power during the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Another series of videos sent to VOA Persia and posted on social media is a Monday night protest in several other areas of Khuzestan, including the capital city of Ahvaz, Andimeshk, Hamidier, Ramholmos, Shoshtar and Susangerd. Seems to indicate. The clips show protesters advocating slogans condemning the lack of drinking and agricultural water in the state, and gunshots were heard in several places. The image could not be confirmed by VOA either.

Many of the protesters seen in the video of the first two nights of the protest were chanting the slogan in Arabic. Khuzestan is home to an important Arab minority who has long complained of discrimination and negligence by Islamic rulers of the Persian majority Iran.

But a clear protest on Tuesday in Ize, a predominantly non-Arab city, showed that the rebel protests that swept Khuzestan were not solely caused by ethnic minority dissatisfaction.

Iranian leaders have recently sent a delegation to Khuzestan to investigate reports of water shortages and fatal shootings by protesters, state media reported.

At a press conference Wednesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was closely following Khuzestan’s protests “including reports of security forces firing at protesters.”

“We support the right of Iranians to gather peacefully and express themselves. Iranians, like others, fear arbitrary detention by security forces, not fear of violence. Instead, we should enjoy these rights, “Price said.

A group of prominent Iranian rights activists, including Narges Mohammadi, held a rally in front of the Iranian Ministry of Interior in Tehran on Tuesday, expressing solidarity with protesters in Khuzestan.

The video shared on social media was when former political prisoners Mohammady, Arash Sadegi, Jafar Azimzade, and several other activists spoke in support of what Mohammady calls the innocent people of Khuzestan. Showed that they gathered outside the province.

Mohammady’s husband, Tagi Ramani, in exile in France, tweeted on Tuesday that his wife and some of the other activists in the rally were beaten and arrested by security forces. In a second tweet five hours later, Rahmani said they were all released. There was no mention of the incident in Iran’s national media.

Water scarcity in Iran is due in part to some weather-related factors, including a sharp drop in rainfall over the last few months, which has fallen by more than 40% below last year’s levels, coupled with high summer temperatures.

Experts say that decades of mismanagement of the Iranian government have also contributed to the drought. They have accused authorities of not fully considering the installation and construction of hydroelectric dams and diverting water from rivers and wetlands in Khuzestan to industrial land in neighboring areas.

France-based Iranian sociologist Jalal Ijadi said in a Monday interview with VOA Persia that water scarcity is exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic in Khuzestan. He said state news reports suggest that the proportion of the population receiving the coronavirus vaccine is in the low single digits.

“Water scarcity has affected people’s health and the spread of the coronavirus,” said Idjadi.

This article originates from VOA’s Persian service. Click here to read the original Persian version of the story.

Iran’s water scarcity protests result in third death, expanding to day 7 | Voice of America

Source link Iran’s water scarcity protests result in third death, expanding to day 7 | Voice of America

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