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Protests continue and spread to more cities across Iran

Protests continue and spread to more cities across Iran
The Iranian authorities failed to send appropriate and timely emergency response
posted onMay 28, 2022

The protests which started in Abadan on Wednesday over mass casualties after collapse of 10-story building have continued extensively in this city and spread to other parts of Khuzestan province and rest of Iran.

On Friday night, people in Abadan took to the streets in massive numbers again and continued to protest until the early hours of Saturday morning. Videos received show tens of thousands of protesters in downtown Abadan, chanting against the regime.

Large numbers of people have taken to the streets in several other parts of Iran too, to show solidarity with Abadan and honor those killed in the fall of the city's tower block.

Among the regions which joined the protests on Friday night included the cities of Mahshahr, Bushehr, Shahinshahr, Ahvaz, Omidiyeh, Yazd, Shiraz and a village in Baghmalek.

Images received show sombre music being played and people chanting in mourning for the victims of the deadly building collapse in Abadan.

People also chanted slogans against the regime again on Friday night, including "Cannon, tank, firecracker, mullahs must get lost", "Our enemy is right here, they lie saying it is America" and "Down with the clerical rule for all these years of atrocities" among others.

In Ahvaz, the capital city of Khuzestan province, blackouts were reported, seemingly to hinder the protests.

As the protests continued through Friday night, videos came out showing large numbers of anti-riot forces in the streets of Abadan, and people being attacked with tear gas. Videos also showed people fleeing in the streets, shouting at the suppressive forces to stop shooting.

In some videos, the state's suppressive forces, some of which appear to be IRGC's Basij, are seen with firearms, threatening the crowd, and firing shots. In other videos these forces are seen on motorcycles, riding through the protests, attempting to disperse the crowd, while protesters chant "Do not be afraid, we are all together".

The latest series of Iran's protests began on Wednesday in Abadan, Khuzestan province, after many were killed following the collapse of part of the city's 10-story "Metropol" tower block two days earlier.

The Iranian authorities failed to send appropriate and timely emergency response, leaving scores buried under the collapsed building. Many locals came to the help of the city's existing rescue teams, some with their own dogs, desperately trying to locate the victims and move the rubbles to save those trapped.

According to Iranian media, 80 people were inside the building when it collapsed on Monday, May 23, although some eyewitness accounts say there were more.  The death toll so far announced is 24.

The authorities' incompetent handling of the deadly incident and later their decision to knock down the rest of the tower block while many were still under the rubble, angered the people of Abadan, who took to the streets to protest against widespread mismanagement and corruption, which they blamed for the tragedy.

Furthermore, authorities failed to arrest the person directly blamed for the disaster, the building's owner Hossein Abdolbaghi, and falsely claimed he had died in the incident while helping him flee the country, according to several eyewitness accounts.

Since then, protests have begun and continued in several parts of Iran in solidarity with the people of Abadan. These protests have quickly evolved into anti-regime demonstrations with top regime officials, Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi and supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and the clerical establishment being targeted in slogans.