Iran Arrests 200 Linked To Protests against Water Shortage

By Iran HRM   |   Jul 8, 2018

Roughly 200 people were arrested during recent protests which started on June 30 in the southern cities of Khorramshahr and Abadan over drinking water shortages. The number is far higher than the 10 people the judiciary media reported to be detained.

The purified-water shortage in southwestern Iran saw the staging of one of the largest water-related protests in Iran this year. Residents of the Khuzestan provincial cities of Khorramshahr, Abadan, and Ahvaz say their water supplies have been polluted for days despite pledges by Iranian authorities to quickly resolve the problem. According to Iranian state media, hundreds of demonstrators joined together in a protest in Khorramshahr on June 30 in a protest which turned violent.

A video posted on social media displayed police firing tear gas at demonstrators, and gunfire was heard in the background. Iran’s judiciary also confirmed the arrest of 10 protesters. Water shortage protests have also been reported on social media in Abadan, and the provincial capital of Ahvaz.

On Wednesday, a Khorramshahr resident confirmed that security continued to be tight in the city. Allegedly, the police have been using concrete barriers to block roads leading to a central square, in an attempt to quell further protests. The resident also claimed that there were reports of police detaining demonstrators indiscriminately.

Below are the names of some of the detained citizens, so far received:
Tariq Zuhiri, Amin Maniyat, Mustapha Ayadni, 15 years old, Waleed Zuhiri, 27 years old, Waleed Eidani, 16 years old, Hani Shaki, 25 years old, Ghanem Naseri, 45 years old, Khalid Hamdi, Abdulreza Asakereh, Ja’far Eidani, 36 years old, Foad Baghlani, 45 years old, Mehdi Alnaseri, 30 years old, Abas Albaghlani, 28 years old, Hossein Amiri, Aghil Salami, Tamim Baghlani, Reza Naseri, Mohammad Bavi, 23 years old
Mahmoud Tamimi, Mansour Tamimi, Mehdi Solaimani, 17 years old.

Amnesty International released a statement on July 6, calling on Iran to ensure right to safe drinking water and release peaceful protesters in Khuzestan. The statement reads in part, “Iranian authorities must carry out an impartial and thorough investigation into reports that security forces used unnecessary and excessive force, possibly including firearms, against generally peaceful protesters during recent protests in Khuzestan province, where people have been demanding clean and safe drinking water, Amnesty International said today. They should ensure that all detainees are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that any held solely for peacefully exercising their right to assembly are released. Iranian authorities should also ensure that people in Khuzestan and other provinces across Iran enjoy their right to access sufficient amounts of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses, that is, water for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene, and that those who wish to join peaceful protests to demand this right are neither obstructed nor penalized for doing so.”