On the second day of protests in Khuzestan province against severe water shortages, Mostafa Naeemawi, a young protester was killed by the state security forces in the restive city of Shadegan.
The southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan is in dire straits due to extreme heat, power outages and now water shortages, and water has become very precious in the region.
Locals in several cities including Ahvaz, Abadan, Susangerd, Hamidiyeh, Shadegan, Hoveizeh, Kut Abdollah, Mahshahr, Bostan, Mollasani, Abou Homeyzeh, and Khorramshahr took to the streets in the nightly protests on July 15 and 16, demanding water. They believe the regime is diverting water from the southwestern province to other areas in Iran.
Many of the protesting citizens’ slogans at the rallies were in Arabic, including: “The river is thirsty, it wants water”, “Where is our Hoor?”, “Where is out water?”, “Our lives and blood are sacrificed for Karun River”, ” Our lives and blood are sacrificed for Ahvaz “,” I am thirsty, water is my right?”.
According to locals, Mostafa Naeemawi, a 30-year-old man from Shadegan who was among other protesters was shot dead by security forces last night.
The acting governor of Shadegan confirmed the news, but instead of mentioning how he was killed, blamed “the rioters” for the killing.
In an interview with the state-run ISNA news agency, Omid Sabripoor claimed that during the rally, ‘opportunists and rioters’ opened fire on security forces and protesters, killing a 30-year-old passerby.
Locals present at the scene however say that the shooting was carried out by security forces.
Amateur videos showed the state security forces clashing with locals, and the sounds of gunfire were heard in the background.
On July 15, the first night of the protests, Khuzestan Governor Qasem Soleimani Dashtaki denied the protests, saying the videos were fake.
“Some want to provoke people and have posted fake videos of protests on cyberspace from Khorramshahr and Susangerd. Nothing has happened and the videos are from the past. People should beware of this mischief,” Dashtaki said.
There were reports that a child in Shadegan was injured.