Iran protests: Families of murdered demonstrators hold rally in Tehran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, July 31, 2021—Family members of protesters killed by security forces held protest rallies in Tehran’s Azadi Square on Friday in support of the uprising of the people of Khuzestan and in condemnation of the Iranian regime’s brutality.

The protesters, most of whom are mothers of the youth murdered by security forces down during the November 2019 protests, were chanting anti-regime slogans and encouraged others to join the protests.

One of the mothers said, “My son said, ‘I’m willing to die so that future generations can have a decent life.’ He was very brave, my son… He was killed with two bullets… He died for his country, he died for Iran.”

Other protesters said, “We are seeking our rights, we are hand in hand until the regime is overthrown.”

After their gathering in Azadi square, the protesters continued their rally by going to the Sadeghieh Metro station. The mothers held pictures of their murdered children and chanted anti-regime slogans.

“I am the mother of Pejman Gholipour, 18-year-old youth [killed in November protests],” shouted one of the mothers in the metro. “He was killed with five bullets. They killed him with five bullets. I will shout across the world that I am Pejman’s mother. I am seeking justice for the unjustified murder of my son. I’m not afraid of anyone. Don’t wait for the day that your mothers will be holding your pictures in their hands… Rise. Don’t be slaves [of the regime].”

The protesters continued chanting slogans in the metro, “Khuzestan has no water, [families of] November protests have lost their children,” and “From Khuzestan to Tehran, unity, unity.”

To prevent other people from joining the protesters, security forces attacked the mothers, beat them, and arrested several of them. According to reports the arrested protesters were transferred to the Janat Abad police station.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the protesters and said, “Your cries are the cries of Iran, seeking justice for 42 years of slaughter, executions, torture, plunder, and poverty.”

“Ali Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi are not able to silence your voice. This uprising will carry on until final victory,” Mrs. Rajavi added.

Later at night, protests erupted in different cities after soccer matches. A large group of people in Tehranpars and Baharestan held protests rallies and chanted anti-regime slogans. The protesters were chanting, “So many years of crimes, down with this regime” and “Down with the mullahs’ regime.”

Protests were also reported in Isfahan, where the protesters were chanting “Down with the mullahs’ regime” and “Down with the dictator,” referring to regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

In Shushtar, Khuzestan province, the locals blocked roads and chanted “Long live freedom.”

These demonstrations are taking place against the backdrop of protests that first began in Khuzestan in response to severe water shortages.

Khuzestan is faced with a severe water crisis, mainly due to the regime’s destructive policies. In recent weeks, reports from Khuzestan show the Hur ol-Azim marsh drying up and livestock dying due to lack of water.

At the same time, the province’s inhabitants are facing additional problems due to electricity outages. The unjustified creation of dams on the Karun river in the region is the main reason the people are facing water shortages. Khuzestan is one of several provinces that are faced with water shortages due to government policies.

The regime’s brutal response to the protests, gunning down demonstrators and killing several people, has only added to the rage of the people of Khuzestan, who have seen regime authorities ignore their pleas for their most basic needs.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been able to obtain the names and particulars of 12 protesters killed by security forces. But the real number of civilian casualties is much higher.

Protests continue in other parts of Iran

In parallel to the anti-regime protests of Khuzestan and other provinces, Iranian labor communities are also continuing their strikes and protests across the country, many of which have been ongoing for weeks and months.

On Friday, contract workers in oil and petrochemical industries continued their strieks for the 42nd consecutive day. The strikes began on June 19 protesting low wages and difficult working conditions. The strike has so far spread to refineries, petrochemical industries, power plants and facilities related to the oil industry in the cities of Tehran, Arak, Isfahan, Ahwaz, Abadan, Mahshahr, Jask, Assaluyeh, Gachsaran, etc.

On Friday, the Secretary General of the Federation of Venezuelan Oil Workers’ Units declared the organization’s solidarity with Iran’s oil workers in a statement.

The workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company continued their strike on July 31 for the 19th  consecutive day in the city of Shush in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest Iran.

They gathered in front of the management office. They also protested a new plan to block the Internet in Iran. The Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament) has just passed a new bill to limit internet access in Iran.

The main demands raised by the protesting workers are:

– Immediate payment of their delayed paychecks and extension of their insurance booklets

– Their colleagues who have been expelled from their jobs be returned to work immediately

– All company officials involved in corruption be expelled from their posts

– Immediately returning all the embezzled money from the company to the workers

– General, fast, and free Covid-19 vaccination

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