Features

Iranian Filmmakers, Writers and Teachers' Groups Back Khuzestan Protesters

July 22, 2021
OstanWire
2 min read
In their joint statement, filmmakers supporting the Khuzestan protests warned that if the water crisis continues it could lead to the "destruction of Iran"
In their joint statement, filmmakers supporting the Khuzestan protests warned that if the water crisis continues it could lead to the "destruction of Iran"
Several actors and key figures in Iranian cinema joined solidarity demonstrations in Tehran on Wednesday
Several actors and key figures in Iranian cinema joined solidarity demonstrations in Tehran on Wednesday
Masoud Kimiaei, Kianoosh Ayari, Pegah Ahangarani, Sajad Afsharian, Fereshteh Hosseini and Navid Mohammadzadeh were among those present at the gathering
Masoud Kimiaei, Kianoosh Ayari, Pegah Ahangarani, Sajad Afsharian, Fereshteh Hosseini and Navid Mohammadzadeh were among those present at the gathering

Close to 240 different Iranian actors, directors and writers have co-signed a joint statement in support of the water protests in Khuzestan, castigating the “thieves” they say have looted Iran’s natural resources and culture and calling for official resignations.

In the short message posted on Instagram on Wednesday, the consortium of filmmakers said the protesters had been victims of oppression, violence and discrimination. If the situation continues, they added, it could lead to the “destruction” of Iran. The group signed off with the now-popular Persian Twitter hashtag, #Solidarity_with_khuzestan.

Among the signatories were prominent Iranian names in cinema including Mohammad Rasulov, Masoud Kimiaei, Jafar Panahi, Abdolreza Kahani, Bahman Ghobadi, Mohammad Shirvani, Negar Javaherian, Ali Mosafa, Hamid Nematullah, Hamid Pour-Azari, Mahtab Keramati, Mahnaz Mohammadi and Mustafa Al-Ahmad.

Several actors and cinema directors also gathered in front of the Iranian Artists’ Forum and Artists’ House buildings in Tehran on Wednesday, holding up placards in support of the protests.

In a separate statement, Khaneh Cinema, also known as the Iranian Alliance of Motion Pictures Guilds, threw its weight behind the protesters. “Khuzestan has undoubtedly paid a large part of our country's financial and human expenses during the last hundred years,” it read, “especially during the war. It is not appropriate that its people and their bodies be beaten and injured. Do what you have to do, before it's too late."

The Writers' Association of Iran has also echoed these sentiments in its own public statement on the protests. “No one has the right to respond with bullets and tear gas, or with facilitating suppression,” the group wrote. “Nor to call just and peaceful protests ‘playing in enemy territory’."

The Tehran Teachers' Union was also forthright in its condemnation of how officials have managed the unrest: “The responsibility for the people’s bloodshed and misery lies with the leaders and decision-makers of the Iranian government. More young people from this land are being buried in Khuzestan this time, getting only bullets in response to their demands."

Five people are known to have been killed so far by police and security forces since the protests first erupted last Friday, prompted by severe water shortages in Khuzestan.

Related coverage:

Solidarity With Khuzestan Water Protests Spills Into Other Iranian Provinces

In Pictures: Khuzestan's Vanishing Waterways

Iranians Rally in Support on Fifth Night of Khuzestan Water Protests

Furious Crowds Protest Water Crisis in Khuzestan

Decades of Bribery and Mismanagement Lead to Khuzestan’s Protests

comments

Features

In Pictures: Khuzestan's Vanishing Waterways

July 22, 2021
Hannah Somerville
3 min read
In Pictures: Khuzestan's Vanishing Waterways