Witness name and surname: Withheld

Sex: Male

The place about which he is testifying: Ahwaz

Witness status: Injured, Witnessed to firing at people

Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld  


On 16 November morning, following the petrol price hike, we learned through the social media that people were going to protest tomorrow. The demonstration was peaceful. We simply walked on the street without chanting any slogan; we only blocked the roads, and the police were supporting us. Since 10 a.m., anti-riot forces arrived. They realized that people had blocked the main streets and expressway, so they started throwing tear gas canisters at protestors. Security forces in plain clothes took photos and videos and sent them to anti-riot forces, and the latter came back every half or one hour to disperse the crowd.

I went to Kut-e Abdollah (aka Ayatollah Behbahani) expressway. The entire expressway, the main and side roads were closed. We blocked the road without chanting any slogan. We cut the branches of the trees beside the street, put them in front of the cars and asked people to get out of their automobiles and join us in our peaceful protest, but the anti-riot police arrived and the protest was overtaken by violence. Around midday I returned home, because they were throwing tear gas and I was afraid my child would get hurt. At about 4 p.m., I heard shooting; I went out, walked 3 or 4 km and joined the crowd that had gathered at the crossroad. The anti-riot police were present and the Basij forces threw stone at people. I told one of them, “you are shameless; why are you throwing stones at people?” They ordered to arrest me. I didn’t run, because I was afraid, they would shoot me from behind. On the first day of the demonstration, security forces fired tear gas; I could hear the shooting from the boulevard, but didn’t see them firing bullets at anyone. I only heard the shooting. It was said that there was an intense clash in Kut-e Abdollah district.

I could still hear the shooting in the evening. It was heard from the side streets. The agents chased people into the streets and shot them. They were the anti-riot police, Basij forces, and plain-clothes agents. The latter walked along with the former and beat people. They were armed. They had different kinds of arms.

It was said that on one of the streets of Kut-e Abdollah, 4 citizens were killed. Those who came from Zibashahr told us about an armed clash leading to the death of several individuals. The shooting was mostly done by the anti-riot forces. I saw them beating up a young man on Ayatollah Behbahani expressway; they broke his nose; his face was full of blood; they put him in the car and took him away. They were in uniforms. They were anti-riot forces. They wore riot helmets and held shields.

The protests lasted for three to four days. People were scared of going into the downtown, because there was firing and many were killed. I was informed that some citizens were killed but I didn’t know {who} they were. Security agents didn’t return the bodies to families, and buried them themselves.

At night I heard machine gun fire; it sounded like it was in my house. I could hear the clashes in Ahwaz. It was said that there were violent skirmishes in Mahshahr, Shadegan, Abadan and Khorramshahr, but we couldn’t see the videos of what was happening there. The internet was blacked out. We had no news from the downtown. The internet connection was poor or non-existent. I think it was cut off the same day at noon. This blackout continued nearly one month until things calmed down.

(After the protests were over,) I heard that security agents raided houses and arrested people. They were seen in this or that alley, entering the homes of citizens.