Iran: oil workers strike, join protests

Asalouyeh

The national uprising in Iran continued¬†to spread over the past week, with petrochemical workers¬†walking off the job at the major Asalouyeh plant on the¬†Persian Gulf coast¬†of Bushehr province‚ÄĒshortly followed by a similar wildcat strike at¬†Abadan refinery in the neighboring restive province of¬†Khuzestan. Videos posted to social media show workers at the¬†Asalouyeh complex chanting “This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali Khamenei is done!” and “Down with the dictator!”‚ÄĒboth references to Supreme Leader Ayatollah¬†Khamenei.¬†(Iran International) Security forces fired¬†on protesters in Sanandaj,¬†capital of Kordestan, another traditionally restive province, killing at least five. (BBC News) Lawyers in Tehran gathered in front of the Iranian Central Bar Association to protest the repression, and were themselves dispersed by tear-gas.¬† (Jurist)¬†In scenes across the country, schoolgirls held protests in which they¬†removed their hijabs in defiance of authorities. In the¬†southern city of Shiraz, Fars province, dozens of schoolgirls blocked traffic on a main road while waving their headscarves in the air and shouting “Death to the dictator!”¬† (BBC News)

While details remain sketchy, there was apparently a rebellion¬†at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. At least four inmates died with many more¬†injured after a fire broke out at the facility Oct. 16. (BBC News, Iran International)

The death toll since the protest wave began last month is now placed by rights monitors at 224, with at least 23  children among the slain. (Al Arabiya, Amnesty International)

The current uprising now far surpasses the nationwide wave of protests over economic grievances in 2019.

Photo via Iran International

  1. Iran protest crackdown turns deadlier still

    The UN Human Rights Council is set to hold a special session imminently on Iran. It comes as state violence against protesters reaches new levels, with Iranians holding protests across the country to mark the third anniversary of the 2019 “Bloody November” demonstrations. More than a dozen people have been killed in the most recent crackdown, including two children. Video footage showed police opening fire at a crowded metro station and beating fleeing women with batons. Iranians have been holding protests since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September after being arrested by so-called morality police. Human rights groups say almost 350 people have been killed by the Iranian security forces since the crackdown began two months ago. (TNH)