As summer temperatures soared in the Iranian province of Khuzestan, water shortages became a pronounced crisis, sparking mass protests in a number of cities and towns including Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Hamidiyeh, and Mahshahr. The first such demonstrations were recorded on July 15, and these helped to establish the messaging that would define the protests for two weeks and counting.

Many participants in the first night’s protests chanted, “We will not accept humiliation.” Over time, that slogan has been adapted to reflect the government’s violent response, so that many current participants are chanting, “Iranians die, but we will not accept humiliation.” The first known fatality from the unrest took place on the second day, July 16, and the victim was identified as 26-year-old Mostafa Na’imawi.

Recently, the regime has taken to completely cutting off or restricting internet access in hopes of stopping people from spreading news of their protests to the wider world, however, this has not stopped people from recording protests and the brutality of the IRGC towards the protesters and posting them on social media outlets.

What started out as localized protests over water shortages in Khuzestan province, has quickly turned into a nationwide anti-government protest spreading to provinces such as Tehran, Lorestan, Bushehr, Isfahan, Ilam, and Sistan and Baluchestan with slogans of "Down with Dictator" being heard in the streets. Protesters in various other provinces have shown solidarity with the people of Khuzestan and support their call for the basic human necessity of water, instead of the regime diverting vital waterways to support their own malign activities.

Amnesty International issued a report on the treatment of protesters by the regime, "Iran’s security forces have deployed unlawful force, including by firing live ammunition and birdshot, to crush mostly peaceful protests taking place across the southern province of Khuzestan"

"Scores of people, including children, have been injured, including by birdshot, and several are hospitalized in critical condition due to gunshot wounds. Security and intelligence forces have swept up dozens of protesters and activists."

Amnesty International's full article can be found here:  

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