Iran has arrested about 30 people following the anti-government protests that broke out in the southwestern city of Behbahan on Thursday, the Iranian Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA) said on Friday.
Protests broke out in Behbahan in the oil-rich Khuzestan province on Thursday with demonstrators demanding the overthrow of the regime, according to videos shared on social media.
Protesters attacked Iran’s clerical rulers, chanting “we don’t want a clerical regime” and “clerics must get lost.”
Watch: Protesters in #Iran’s southwestern city of #Behbahan in oil-rich Khuzestan province chant "not Gaza, not Lebanon, I give my life for Iran," as demonstrations slowly spread to other cities.#IranProtestshttps://t.co/f19il498t0 pic.twitter.com/bC2402OiOV— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 16, 2020
Authorities arrested about 30 people in Behbahan on Thursday evening and Friday morning, Iranian rights group HRANA said.
One of the detainees was Farzaneh Ansarifar, whose brother Farzad Ansarifar was one of the protesters killed in Behbahan during the November 2019 protests, according to HRANA.
Anti-government protests broke out across Iran in November 2019 after the government introduced gasoline rationing and price hikes. Thousands were arrested and about 1,500 Iranians were killed by security forces, according to a Reuters report.
Watch: “Iranians would rather die than live without dignity,” chant protesters in #Iran’s southwestern city of #Behbahan as activists call for nationwide Friday protests against the regime.#IranProtestshttps://t.co/f19il498t0 pic.twitter.com/JO79iQ6nFm— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 17, 2020
The latest protests follow and are motivated by a viral Twitter campaign Iranians had launched on Tuesday against the Iranian judiciary’s decision to uphold the death sentences of three protesters who were arrested and sentenced to death following the protests last November.
The police urged people in a statement on Friday to “vigilantly refrain from any gathering that could provide a pretext for the counter-revolutionary movement”, accusing “enemies” of whipping up discontent.