Family Says Son Killed by Rioters in Unrests in Southwestern Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- The family members of a young man killed during the unrests and protests at water shortage and drought in Southwestern Iran blamed the rioters and saboteurs for his death, calling on the government to capture the murderers.
“My son (Mostafa Na’imavi who was killed in Shadegan town in Khuzestan province on Friday night) was not a person who would go out for crime or rioting. He had friends among Basij (voluntary forces) and the Law Enforcement Police. We want the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Islamic Republic government and the Law Enforcement Police to give special care and attention to those who have been victimized. The rioters and saboteurs and not the government have fired at my son,” Mostafa’s father told FNA in an interview on Saturday.
Also, Mostafa’s brother asked the government and the security forces not to allow Mostafa’s death remain unresponded and arrest those behind his killing.
Governor of Shadegan confirmed the incident, and told FNA, “Identification of all perpetrators of the incident is on the agenda.”
"During the rallies, several rioters fired in the air to provoke people. One of these bullets hit a young man who was present on the scene and caused his death," he added.
Some sources said a number of the shooters have been identified.
Owning and carrying a rifle is part of the tradition in a number of tribes in Southwestern Iran. In addition to hunting, airshooting is also part of the tradition in celebrations and wedding ceremonies in the region. Yet, these tribesmen are not licensed to carry their firearms. The government has banned airshooting in ceremonies since few years ago.
Meantime, Qassem Khozairi, 18, who was a family breadwinner, was killed by unknown assailants during protest rallies in Khuzestan province.
His uncle said that Qassem was returning home from work on Friday night when he was shot.
“Unfortunately, he passed away before saying who has fired at him. He was an active member of Basij and was not a person who would join riots. We ask the Judiciary, the Law Enforcement Police and other officials to identify the murderer immediately,” Qassem’s uncle told FNA.
It is less than a month that the western regions of Khuzestan have been in a water crisis, and due to the lack of water in the Hur al-Azim wetland, some local people have lost their livestock. A number of young people have been holding mostly peaceful protest rallies in the past few days in certain regions of Khuzestan province. Yet, Separatist and anti-revolutionary groups have been attempting to provoke rallies into rioting, partly through a large disinformation campaign. On Friday, the Al-Ahwaziyah terrorist group released photos and videos claiming that it plans to riot in some parts of Khuzestan; the images showed a number of individuals who raised the flag of al-Ahwaziyah terrorist group among the protesting people rallying in Shadegan and Susangerd.
The group has a record of numerous terrorist operations in Iran in the past two decades, killing citizens, including children and women.
One factor behind Iran’s water shortages is a sharp drop in rainfall, which has been more than 40% below last year’s levels in recent months, combined with high Summer temperatures. The drought has left Iran’s dams with less water to generate electricity, contributing to blackouts in recent weeks.
People in Khuzestan province rallied to protest shortages of drinking and agricultural water, and the drying up of wetlands and rivers.
Iran’s Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i issued an order to immediately follow up on resolving the water problem in Khuzestan, and a senior judicial and executive delegation was sent to the Southwestern province to investigate the issue. President Hassan Rouhani also sent the Head of the Crisis Management Organization to Khuzestan at the head of a high-level delegation to settle the problems in the province as soon as possible.