Saturday, July 31, seventeen days have passed since the protests which began in the cities of Khuzestan, on Thursday, July 15. Khuzestan is not alone. Today, all cities and provinces of Iran are Khuzestan. There is not a day that the cry of “Death to the Islamic Republic” does not resonate in Iran, and yesterday in Tehran’s Daneshjoo (Student) Park, in front of the City Theater building, was this slogan spread in the streets of the city center.
The people displayed the glory of “national solidarity.” “No to the Islamic Republic” is unifying. Protesting residents of Tehran chanted the slogan that mothers of November 2019 victims have chanted the day before: “Aban (November) has no children, Khuzestan has no water.” On Friday, July 30, forces known as plainclothes and repressive agents beat and arrested the mothers of November 2019 victims for chanting the same slogan. “They were arrested at 4:30 PM in Sadeghiyeh metro station,” HRANA, human rights activists news agency, quoted an informed source as saying. From there, they were first transferred to the Sadeghiyeh metro station’s underground, then to the Jannatabad 2 base, and finally to the Vozara detention center at 6:30 PM. Around 11-12 at night, after hours of threats and displacement, they were gradually released. Ms. Karimi (Mahnaz Karimi, mother of Vahid Damvar) was dragged on the ground while she was ill and taken away. Officers also took the cameras of citizens in the station who were recording. Officers also used tear gas during the arrest and beating of Ebrahim Ketabdar’s brother.”
Artists and citizens who had gathered in Daneshjoo Park to express their solidarity and support sang the “Yar Dabestani” song, spoke about “Aban’s childlessness” and about Iran, which is still waterless like Khuzestan, and the “killing” and repression that continues behind closed doors and disrupted internet, they shouted: “The country has no water, killing continues!” Arash Sadeghi, a former political prisoner, told VOA that “house-to-house arrests are taking place in Khuzestan by security and military forces, and that the detainees had been transferred to unknown locations and their status was unknown.” Widespread internet outages in Khuzestan continue. In Iran, every time the regime cuts off the Internet during protests, a horrific crime is committed. But the fact that the Internet situation has not returned to pre-protest levels indicates another fact: that protests in Khuzestan continue.
HRANA introduced yesterday’s protests in Tehran as an initiative titled “Now is the time” from a group of artists who called on the citizens to protest in support of the people of Khuzestan and the current situation in the country, to gather in front of the City Theater. People came. They sang an anthem. Showed their solidarity.
Oppressive forces, in uniform and plainclothes, special unit and in black, armed with firearms and clubs; they also came. They fired tear gas. They shot. They attacked the people, with sticks, shockers and guns: “Yar Dabestani” became “Khamenei the companion-maker”*.
Translation of this post by Sahar.
*: The Hamdam (Companion) app was launched by the Islamic Republic to “increase population by finding proper companion!”