Protests in cities across the southwestern province of Khuzestan continued on Thursday, July 22. Twitter and other social media networks, as well as mobile phone service, have reportedly been blocked in areas around the province. The protests, which began last week in response to severe water shortages in the region, have increasingly taken on an anti-regime character.
NetBlocks confirms disruptions in Khuzestan’s internet service.
Despite the internet blockages in Khuzestan, videos have been published today depicting protests in Ahvaz, the provincial capital, as well as the cities of Izeh, Susangerd, Ahvaz, Lordegan, Shush Danyal, Mahshahr, Masjed Soleiman, and Behbahan. Riot police can be seen lobbing tear gas at protesters, while the sound of gunshots can also be heard. Videos taken after such clashes show young protestors with wounds apparently sustained from pellet guns and rubber bullets.
There are unverified reports of multiple arrests and the killing of two young protesters named Issa Baledi and Hamid Majd Jowkar in the Khuzestan city of Jarahi. Official Iranian media have also reported that some protesters have been arrested.
Protests spread to other Iranian states
Wednesday night saw protests spread to other cities across Iran, including the provincial capitals of Kermanshah, Bushehr, and Khorramabad (Lorestan Province) and Ganaveh in Bushehr Province. It appears that the largest protests outside of Khuzestan last night took place in Najafabad, Isfahan Province, where marchers took to the streets as soon as the sun set. Protestors chanted “Death to the dictator,” along with slogans in support of the people of Khuzestan and the late Shah of Iran. One video shows a group of Bakhtiaris waving white shrouds (denoting their willingness to be martyred) in the direction of Khuzestan to show their solidarity with protesters there.
In Tehran, the Iran Music House and the Iranian Writers’ Association announced their support of the people of Khuzestan. They demanded an end to the repression of the protests and strikes. A small group of Iranian cinema figures also gathered in the Iranian Artists’ Forum to display their solidarity with protesters in Khuzestan.