For the sixth consecutive night, cities in the province of Khuzestan, in southwestern Iran, were the scene on Tuesday, July 20, of demonstrations against the Islamic Republic, against a background of poor water management by authorities. Since July 15, residents of Ahvaz, Shadegan, Susangerd and Izeh have been demonstrating, chanting “Down with the dictatorship” and “The people want the fall of the regime” in Arabic, an emblematic slogan of the uprisings that erupted in the Arab world in 2011.
Internet access on mobile phones has been cut or severely slowed down at night in cities swept over by protests – a method increasingly used by Iranian authorities to prevent information sharing during protests .
Videos posted on the Web, filmed in Khuzestan, show fierce repression by police and riot forces, who fired live ammunition into the crowd. The Human Rights Activists News Agency, which documents human rights violations in Iran, reports at least three deaths, all of them young men. Local activists accuse the police of being responsible for their deaths. The government has confirmed three deaths, attributing them – as usual – to “Terrorist groups” who “Infiltrated” events.
In this oil-producing province bordering Iraq, the inhabitants – a significant number of whom are from the Arab minority – say they are marginalized and discriminated against by the central power, while they were on the front line during the Iran-Iraq war ( 1980-1988) and suffered the consequences. Once the prosperous center of the country’s agriculture, Khuzestan is now experiencing unprecedented drought. Its inhabitants suffer from the lack of water to irrigate their agricultural land and to feed their livestock, and even for their consumption.
“We have never had drinking water, while the city is built on oil, the wealth of the whole country”, a resident of Susangerd, in Khuzestan
This year in particular, because of the unprecedented increase in temperatures (exceeding 50 ° C in places), the wear and tear of power plants and poor management, Iranian cities are also experiencing power cuts, the worst since the war with Iraq. The fed up with the carelessness of the theocratic regime is such, in the country, that the slightest problem in the public services can give rise to a dispute.
You have 45.74% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.