Youngsters killed in protests against water crisis in Iran



DUBAI, July 17 (Reuters) – A young man was shot dead during a second night of water shortages protests in southwest Iran, a local official said Saturday, blaming armed protesters for the shooting, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Iran is facing the worst drought in 50 years, with protests erupting in several cities in oil-rich Khuzestan province over the water crisis, affecting households, devastating agriculture and livestock, and causing power outages. Continue reading

“During the rally, rioters fired in the air to provoke people, but unfortunately one of the bullets hit someone at the scene and killed them,” Omid Sabripour, head of the Shadegan city government, told IRNA.

Iranian media broadcast a video of the victim’s father, Mostafa Naimawi, who said his son was shot dead by rioters rather than government security forces.

“My son was not a troublemaker and had nothing to do with riots and unrest,” said the unidentified father in the video, which provided a Farsi translation.

Videos posted on social media showed protesters setting tires on fire to block streets and security forces trying to disperse crowds when gunfire was heard. Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the footage.

During some protests, people vented their anger at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and sang “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to Khamenei”. Continue reading

In recent weeks, thousands of workers in Iran’s main energy sector have also protested to demand better wages and working conditions in southern gas fields and some refineries in major cities. Continue reading

The Iranian economy has been paralyzed by US sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers – some complain that their wages are not paid – and retirees have been protesting for months, with dissatisfaction growing over high unemployment and inflation in excess of 50%.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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