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The Uprising of Thirst: Contradictory Narratives of State-Media About the Killed Protesters

The fourth day of the thirst uprising:

On the evening of Sunday, July 18, people from different parts of Khuzestan continued their protests, which began in large numbers in at least 17 cities of the province on Thursday, July 15, in protest of the regime’s destructive policies regarding the environment and water management, and took to the streets despite heavy presence of oppressive forces. According to videos posted online, police officers opened fire on people during peaceful rallies yesterday.

Last night, the mask fell off from regime’s face. “Jaesh” (referring to Daesh, pointing out how Islamic Republic resembles the terrorist group) appeared and instead of water, which all officials keep promising to the people of Khuzestan these days, poured its repression machine and armed mercenaries into the region to maintain order and kill defenseless and waterless people. The most violent clashes, according to reports and videos posted on social media, took place during last night’s protests in the city of Susangerd. In the early hours of the night, repressive forces had taken control of the market area and the main squares of the city. It was not long before a flood of empty-handed protesters, fearless of the large presence of the regime’s armed forces, marched into the city and recaptured the city’s main streets and centers. Last night, Susangerd was the scene of the people’s war with the criminal and illegitimate Islamic government. It is unknown at this time how many protesters were killed, wounded or detained during the night.

But, as we predicted in yesterday’s analytical report, the interrogator-reporter team of Fars News, the IRGC’s media, spent the whole day preparing and making videos to cover up the killings and crimes of its armed forces during Khuzestan protests. In a clip similar to the one made in connection with the killing of Mustafa Naimavi, a protesting citizen from Shadegan, the news agency placed three men together in front of a wall in a room.

One of the three became uncle of Qassem Naseri (Khozayri), a 17-year-old from Kut Abdullah, whose death by direct shot from military forces was reported yesterday on social and independent media. This time, Fars News had slightly changed the stage design and ignored the imposition of images of Khamenei, Khomeini and Qassem Soleimani in the frame. In this IRGC product, the uncle, with a tasbih (saying zekr) in his hands, described Qassem as a mosque-going, devoted muslim and a Basiji who was killed by terrorists during the riots.

In the past 2 days, at least three contradictory accounts of Mustafa Naimavi and Qassem Naseri killings have been published by the state media and Fars News. In the first narrative, Omid Sabripour, the acting governor of Shadegan, described Mustafa Naimavi as “one of the demonstrators” who was killed “by opportunists and rioters” as a result of “shots in the air” by these individuals. The second version was echoed by the deputy governor of Khuzestan, who said that “the content and videos published in cyberspace are all lies” and that “only one innocent resident from Shadegan died as a result of the rioters’ shooting at a power transformer.” Waliullah Hayati described the death of a second person in Kut Abdullah as unrelated to the protests, saying the man had been shot in front of his home in a family dispute. In the third narration, Fars News, quoting Karim Hosseini, the representative of Ahvaz in the Islamic Consultative Assembly, reported the killing of Qassem Naseri and Mostafa Naimavi after the rallies and outside the protests. However, this very same news agency, reported the two men’s deaths during rallies by “saboteurs” in both films they made about them.”

IRGC News Agency, these days, due to the overwhelming number of documents and videos released by citizen journalists, is swamped in preparation and production of false narratives and news, so much that it does not have enough opportunity and accuracy in arranging and compiling these fake products. On the other hand, the “cyber army” of this terrorist organization have started broadcasting “fake” or old videos and attributing them to the ongoing protests in Khuzestan, so they could “expose” their falsity later in order to undermine the validity of documents and reports of activists. For example: Last night, a short and shocking video of a man lying on the ground covered in blood and several people around him shouting in Arabic was quickly shared on social media, but in less than a few hours, its fakeness and irrelevance to the current protests in Khuzestan was revealed by users. In an instant, the “counterintelligence” nature of this fake video was revealed:

But where did this video come from? Bingo:

This morning, the IRGC news agency unveiled the egg that it had laid in cyberspace last night.

Translation of this post by Sahar.


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