November 29, 2021
Iranian human rights groups abroad have reported on Sunday that 214 protesters in Esfahan have been arrested and 30 others are in hospitals with eye injuries.
Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA) reported that 13 of the detainees are juveniles, while authorities have not issued an official figure about the number of those detained. On two earlier occasions they had mentioned 120 and 67 people arrested.
Protests broke out on Friday after Esfahan residents came out to protest against mismanagement of water resources by the government that in time of drought has left the city’s main river and surrounding agricultural lands completely dry.
Security forces who had positioned themselves in all the main points in the city began using tear gas, batons and ‘bird shots’ from shotguns to disperse the protesters. Images on social media showed many protesters badly injured. There have been no confirmed cases of deaths.
Another human rights organization reported that 20 citizens are in area hospitals with eye injuries caused by shotgun fire. Arrests of citizens is still ongoing.
Hardliner media have called the demonstrators foreign agents, as they have done in past protests. Some even claimed that the United States instigated the protests to put pressure on the Iranian government just prior to nuclear talks set to resume in Vienna on Monday.