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Protests spread across Iran amid global concerns over regime’s brutal reactions

Protests spread across Iran amid global concerns over regime’s brutal reactions
posted onJuly 30, 2021

The protests initially triggered over water shortages in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan two weeks ago have spread to several cities in Iran, including the capital Tehran.

Iranians have been protesting in the streets and blocking roads in various parts of the country to show their support for the people of Khuzestan.

In many of the videos received protesters also can be heard chanting against the regime and the countrys Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

On Wednesday protests erupted in Robat Karim, a city 27 km southwest of Tehran. A video received by Avatoday shows people gathered on a busy road as police forces surrounded them. Dozens have been arrested, according to eyewitnesses.

On Tuesday night protests broke out in the city of Baharestan, 20 km southeast of Isfahan. In received videos people can be heard chanting "Khuzestan, Isfahan, Alliance, Alliance. The Videos also show protesters burning posters of Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and chanting "We don't want the Islamic Republic," and "Death to Khamenei".

On Monday protests reached the country's capital Tehran. Videos show hundreds marching on the streets of the capital while chanting slogans such as ‘’Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I give my life for Iran".

Many of the slogans chanted during Tehran's protests were directed against the establishment. Some of them were "Khamenei be ashamed of yourself and leave power," and "Cannons, tanks, bullets work no more, Mullahs must leave," the word "Mullahs" used to refer to the clerics at the top of Iran's political system.

Protests were also held on Monday night in the city of Fardis near Karaj, in the west of Tehran. Videos received from those cities show people expressing their support for the protests in Khuzestan by chanting "From Karaj to Khuzestan, Alliance, Alliance," and their anger against the regime by "Death to the Dictator".

On Saturday protests erupted in Tabriz, the capital of Iran's East Azerbaijan province, with hundreds of demonstrators chanting in solidarity with Khuzestan "Azerbaijan is awake and supports Khuzestan".  The videos show anti-riot forces riding on motorcycles among the protesters while the crowd chants "Shameless, Dishonorable" against them.

Among the other parts of the country which have joined the protests were Aligudarz, Bojnord, Mahdasht (Karaj), Yazdanshahr (Isfahan), and Darrehdrij in Kermanshah.

Rallies have also been held by the Iranian diaspora in several parts of the world, including the US and Europe, to support the demonstrations in Iran. Iranian in diaspora also condemned the killing of protesters, and demonstrated against the Islamic Republic regime.

At least eight protesters and bystanders have been killed by security forces in seven different cities since the protests began, and many have been injured and arrested, Amnesty International said last Friday.

Amnesty International has accused Iranian security forces of using live ammunition and birdshot to crush Khuzestan's protests, and has called on the Iranian authorities to immediately cease the use of automatic weapons and shotguns firing birdshot against protesters.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has also expressed deep concern about the casualties of the protests and the widespread arrests, urging the Iranian authorities to address the chronic water shortage in Khuzestan instead of using excessive force to crush the protests.

The US Department of State released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the use of violence against protesters, and supporting the rights of Iranians to peacefully protest without fear of violence and detention by security forces.

"We urge the Iranian government to allow its citizens to exercise their right to freedom of expression and to freely access information, including via the Internet," the State Department spokesman Ned Price said in the statement. "We are also monitoring reports of internet slowdowns in the region."