Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 26, 2021—Sunday marked the eleventh consecutive day of intense protests in Khuzestan province and brutal repression of civilians by security forces. While the protests were triggered by severe water shortages in Khuzestan’s hot summer and the destructive policies of the Iranian regime, they have quickly turned into mass demonstrations against the regime in its entirety with protesters calling for the overthrow of the mullahs’ rule. In the past week, the protests have also expanded beyond Khuzestan to other provinces across Iran, in which demonstrations are expressing their solidarity with Khuzestan and their support for regime change in Iran.
On Sunday, protests continue across Khuzestan despite heavy security presence and a total internet blackout. According to reports from inside Iran, mobile internet is totally cut off in Mahshahr, Ahvaz, Omidiyeh, and other parts of the province.
Videos from Shadegan shows security forces directly attacking protesters. Reports from Kut Abdollah also indicated ongoing protests, though due to internet blackouts.
On Sunday, July 25, 2021, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) published the names of 12 martyrs of the Khuzestan uprising and other cities which rose to support Khuzestan:
1. Mostafa Naimawi, 30, from Shadegan, place of martyrdom: Ahvaz, date of martyrdom July 16, 2021.
2. Qassem Nasseri (Khozairi), 17, from Kut Abdollah, the place of martyrdom: Kut Abdollah, date of martyrdom, July 17, 2021.
3. Mohammad Chenani, place of martyrdom: Shush, date of martyrdom July 20, 2021
4. Isa Baldi, 27, from Mahshahr, place of martyrdom: Mahshahr, date of martyrdom: July 20, 2021
5. Mohammad Kroshat from Ahvaz, place of martyrdom: Ahvaz (Shelang Abad), date of martyrdom: July 20, 2021.
6. Omid Azar-Khosh 20, from Aligudarz, date of martyrdom: July 20, 2021
7. Hadi Bahmani 17, from Susan village (Izeh), place of martyrdom: Izeh, date of martyrdom: July 20, 2021.
8. Farzad Farisat (Hamzeh Al-Farisawi) 24, place of martyrdom: Ahvaz (Shelangabad), date of martyrdom: July 21, 2021.
9. Meysam Ajrash (Akrash) 20, place of martyrdom: Mahshahr (Taleghani town), date of martyrdom: July 21, 2021.
10. Hamid Majdam (Jokari), place of martyrdom: Chamran
11. Mohammad Abdollahi, place of martyrdom: Izeh
12. Amir Mashari Ebadi was wounded and was martyred in the hospital on July 23, 2021.
Due to the internet blackout and difficulties in communicating, the real number and details of the dead and injured has not been obtained yet. But what is certain is that the real number of casualties is much higher as many reports and videos show security forces directly shooting at protesters.
In a statement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) urged the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Security Council, the European Union, and its member states to “condemn these crimes against humanity and take the necessary steps to confront a regime committing crimes against humanity for more than four decades.”
“The leaders of the regime must be brought to justice and the UN Security Council must initiate any action needed to this end,” NCRI said.
Protests in other provinces
In tandem with Khuzestan, protests raged in other protests of Iran. In Ilam, a large group of people had gathered in the 22 Bahman Square and chanted anti-regime slogans. The regime’s security forces attacked the protesters and arrested several people. There’s heavy presence of security forces across the city.
In Tabriz, the regime imposed an electricity blackout to prevent people from assembling and holding demonstrations.
July 25 - Tabriz, northwest #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) July 25, 2021
Local reports blackout in this city following yesterday's protests. Regime has taken similar measures in other cities to confront protests.#IranProtests #خوزستانpic.twitter.com/xKSkG5pmSw
In shocking remarks, Ahmad Meydari, the deputy minister of welfare and social security, acknowledged that Khuzestan’s water problems are due to the destructive policies of the regime and the projects of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
“In the oil projects we had in Khuzestan, we made a lot of mistakes… They [IRGC contractors] got permission from higher authorities to dry up the Hur ol-Azim marsh to carry out oil projects at lower prices,” Meydari said. “Even in the most recent flashfloods, because we wanted to preserve the oil projects, we prevented water from entering the marsh.”
In recent weeks, reports from Khuzestan show the Hur ol-Azim marsh drying up and livestock dying due to lack of water.
At the same time, the province’s inhabitants are facing additional problems due to electricity outages. Last week, the people have held protests over power blackouts.
The unjustified creation of dams on the Karun river in the region is the main reason the people are facing water shortages. Khuzestan is one of several provinces that are faced with water shortages due to government policies. In May, the Arman newspaper published a column about the water shortage crisis and wrote, “This is a struggle that, according to some, is rooted in the inefficiency of government officials in managing water sources and has resulted in the destruction of the lives of many citizens who rely on these water sources to make a living.”