Iranian protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in central Tehran on June 25, 2018. (AFP)

May 14, 2022

At least 3 protesters have been killed in Iran’s recent anti-government protests triggered by a new economic policy which led to a massive hike in food prices.

Speaking to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) Saturday, Ahmad Avaei, the representative of Dezful in Iran’s parliament, said the protester killed in Khuzestan was a resident of Andimeshk. Avaei claimed that those who protested soaring prices, which he said weren’t more than seventy people, were not locals and had come from other places.

‘1500 Tasvir’, an opposition Twitter account, reported Friday that security forces shot Omid Soltani, a 21-year-old protester, Thursday evening in Andimeshk in Khuzestan Province. He appears to be the protester whose killing Avaei confirmed.

Dissident activist Hossein Ronaghi on Saturday named two more protester deaths in Dezful in Khuzestan and Farsan in Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari province.

According to social media reports Pish-Ali Ghalebi, a middle-aged man, was shot in the head Friday while standing in front of the window inside his house and watching the protests. A video published by 1500 Tasvir on Twitter shows him on the floor inside his house as other men and woman at the scene wail and cry.

Social media reports have named the third victim as Hamid Ghasempour, a young man, who was also shot on the street on Friday evening and died in hospital. A video published on social media apparently shows him on the ground after being also shot in the head.

The three victims killed by security forces in Iran.

The three victims killed by security forces in Iran.

There are also videos and reports of tens of arrests in Khuzestan and other provinces. Khakzadegan, a Telegram channel has published the names of forty arrested in Khuzestan where mobile Internet has been hugely disrupted for ten days. An activists tweeted that people have removed passwords from their wi-fis to allow access to others to use the Internet.

Footage of protests in the past few days on social media is scarce as the government has slowed down or completely shut off Internet access in areas where protests have been taking place to prevent videos to be uploaded to social media.

On Saturday as anti-government protests prompted by rising prices sweep across Iran, the global Internet freedom watchdog NetBlocks which on May 11 reported a disruption in mobile internet in Iran said an Internet disruption had been registered on Saturday with high impact to provider MobinNet, one of the country’s major networks which was restored later.

On Saturday the Twitter account of Cloudflare Radar also reported outage for multiple Iranian network operators’ internet services starting at 13:00 UTC.

Iranian media have largely avoided any report of the protests. Informed sources told Iran International Saturday that the intelligence ministry has banned the media from using certain descriptions in their reports including ‘violent confrontation’, ‘clashing with people’ when referring to security forces and “sit-in” as well as ‘economic surgery’, a term used by government officials to refer to the removal of subsidies for food imports which triggered the massive hike in prices overnight.

Protesters have been chanting slogans against clerics including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi amid heavy presence of security forces and riot police in most areas where protests have taken place.

On Saturday, protests and arrests were also reported in Neyshabur in the eastern province of Khorasan-e Razavieast Tehran’s Narmak neighborhoodand Yazd, the capital of the eastern province of Yazd.

Proteststhat began in the southwestern province of Khuzestan over a week ago spread to Ardabil in northwest, Gilan in the north as well as several cities in the western provinces of Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, and Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari.

Iran International

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.