The sudden announcement by Iran’s government on November 15 of gasoline (petrol) price hikes of as much as 300 percent has led to days of protests across the country – and violent repression by its security services. While no official tolls have been announced, reports suggest dozens of protesters have been killed and hundreds of buildings been burned: banks, gas stations, police stations and other governmental buildings. Our Observers were able to send information before a near-complete ban on foreign internet traffic was put in place on November 17.
The Observers team has registered reports of demonstrations and clashes in at least 40 towns and cities, including the capital Tehran, as well as Shiraz, Isfahan, Qazvin, Tabriz and other cities. Our Observers have described what they saw in their cities as a “war zone” or “no different from Aleppo”.
Amateur video shows a demonstration in Shiraz, November 16, 2019.
Videos shared via social media before November 17 – especially the messaging app Telegram – show Iran’s security forces firing on protesters. Other videos show bodies on the streets and burned governmental buildings. In cities including Javanroud, Marivan and Kermanshah, locals reported that hospitals had no more space for the injured.
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