Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 25, 2021—Protests over severe water shortages continued in Khuzestan and other parts of Iran for the tenth day on Saturday as the regime is scrambling to maintain its hold on the increasingly explosive state of the society.
The regime has imposed a mass internet blackout on Khuzestan to prevent reports of the protests from reaching the world. The few reports and footage obtained from the province indicate intense protests continue across the province despite brutal repression.
In Mahshahr, security forces were directly firing at protesters to disperse them.
In Shadegan, security forces are using firearms and live ammunition to repress the protesters. Many were injured in the protests. At the same time, authorities are resorting to mass arrests and are apprehending anyone who has taken part in the protests or is suspect of doing so.
But despite the regime’s efforts, protests continue not only in Khuzestan but are also spreading to other provinces. On Saturday, solidarity with protests in Khuzestan grew across Iran as very large protests were held in several major cities, including Tabriz, Zanjan, Saqqez, and Mashhad.
In Tabriz, a large rally was held in solidarity with the people of Khuzestan, and the protesters chanted anti-regime slogans.
The demonstrators chanted, “Freedom, justice, national government,” calling for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime. The people also chanted about unity across Iran’s different ethnicities against the regime’s oppression.
Security forces and special anti-riot units attacked the protesters, but the youth resisted them while chanting, “We will not accept humiliation, shame on you, shame on you,” and forced them to retreat. The regime is also deploying drones to monitor protests and spread fear across society. But the protests continued nonetheless. In other parts of Tabriz, the people chanted “Down with Khamenei,” calling for the ouster of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
Meanwhile, in Zanjan and Bojnurd, people and the youth took to the streets in solidarity with the Khuzestan uprising. They chanted, “Iranians die but will not accept humiliation” and “We don’t want the Islamic Republic.” In Zanjan, security forces were deployed across the city to prevent large protests.
In Saqqez, Kurdistan province, fearing the eruption of protests, the regime imposed mass electricity blackouts to prevent the people from gathering and holding demonstrations. In Alborz province, locals blocked a road linking Mohammad Shahr and the Kianmehr district of Karaj in solidarity with protesters in Khuzestan province.
In a statement, Amnesty International raised concern over the regime’s brutal response to the protests of the people of Khuzestan. “Iran’s security forces have deployed unlawful force, including by firing live ammunition and birdshot, to crush mostly peaceful protests taking place across the southern province of Khuzestan,” Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International confirmed that security forces have killed “at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy.”
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “Using live ammunition against unarmed protesters posing no imminent threat to life is a horrifying violation of the authorities’ obligation to protect human life. Protesters in Iran who take to the streets to voice legitimate economic and political grievances face a barrage of gunfire, tear gas, and arrests.”
Amnesty International called on the regime to cease the violence and to release peaceful protesters.
Amnesty also called on Iran’s authorities to “end deliberate ongoing internet disruptions and shutdowns across the province to clamp down on human rights.”
Meanwhile, the regime’s telecommunications company claimed that it is facing “technical problems” and can’t tell when internet access will be restored.