Protests over Price Hikes in Iran Spreads to Several Cities
The Iranian government’s decision to cut subsidies for essential food items has led to price hikes for items such as bread, poultry, egg, dairy, and cooking oil sparking protests in Iran. The spreading protests entered their third night on Friday, May the 13th.
Protesters are chanting slogans against economic inequalities but also slogans against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.
The uprising against the economic conditions, rising food prices, and inequalities have spread to several cities and provinces. There are reports of arrests of protestors in the cities of Dezful and Yasuj. Videos of security forces shooting protestors have been published on social media with some sound of semi-automatic weapons. At least one protestor has been killed in the city of Andimeshk in Khuzestan province.
The government of Iran is preparing for repression. Several labor and union activists including teachers union members have been arrested in three days of protests in various cities in Iran.
The protests spread on the third night to Khorramabad, the capital city of the province of Lorestan province as well as the city of Doroud in the same province. Protests were also reported in the city of Shahr-e Kord Pardanjan, Farsan, and Junqan of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province. In the city of Chelicheh in the same province, a security force station was set on fire.
There have also been reports of protests and rallies against the government in Ardabil, Zahedan, Rasht, and Iranshahr.
The Internet has either been completely shut down, disrupted, or slowed down in cities where protests are taking place.
The protesters started to take to the streets at night starting on Thursday 12 May, after the teachers’ protests held in several cities during the day, ended with police violence and widespread arrests of teachers and labor rights activists.
The Khuzestan province which in July 2021 witnessed the water protests is now the main center of protests with slogans against inequalities. So far protestors have taken to the streets in Andimeshk, Ahvaz, Izeh, Dezful, and Mahshahr in the Khuzestan province.
Social media users have posted videos of security forces shooting protesters in Andimeshk. A state media, IRNA reports that in Andimeshk protesters “threw rocks at the police.” Omid Soltai, is a 21-year-old protestor that was shot and killed in Andimeshk.
In most protesting cities, including Yasuj, Dezful, and Andimeshk the government officials have confirmed arrests of protestors. The official number of an arrest in most cities are less than 25, however, the exact number of detainees and their identities is still unknown and yet to be confirmed by independent sources.