Iran Regime Sentences 86 Protesters to Flogging and Jail
Protests in the Beldaji, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Province, southern Iran (File Photo)
The Iranian regime sentenced 86 people to a combined total of 2,580 lashes and 344 months of prison for protesting water diversion to the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Isfahan Steel Factory.
The Borujen Criminal Court in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province tried 103 protesters for “disrupting public order and peace” and “disobeying government agents on duty” on July 31.
The Iranian regime sentenced each of the 86 activists to 30 lashes and four months of prison, merely for protesting the transfer of their drinking water to the Sefid Dasht Steel Factory owned by the Isfahan Steel Company, which is linked to the regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The residents of Boldaji protested this move in July 2016, which led to security forces attacking, wounding, and killing a number of protesters. Many of those who survived were arrested.
The region has been hit hard by water shortages and the water transfer, plans for which are still impending according to reports, will only make things worse for the people living there.
The Isfahan Steel Factory, which is also known as the Mobarakeh Steel Factory, was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in October 2018 because of its links to the IRGC, a U.S.-designated terror group, and funding the Basij, the paramilitary arm of the IRGC that is the main tool of the regime for suppressing domestic protests.
The U.S. Treasury said that the Isfahan Steel Factory, which is the largest steelmaker in the Middle East and North Africa region, is “a revenue stream for Bonyad Taavon Basij’s economic conglomerate. Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company has provided millions of dollars each year to Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company, an entity with close ties to the Basij and its Bonyad Taavon Basij”.
In recent months, Iran's regime has only increased its crackdown on protests by handing down heavy prison terms to protesters and activists, while also using torturous punishments like flogging to try to intimidate protesters. (At least 21 activists and protesters were sentenced to lashes in August.)
Still, this has not stopped the Iranian people, who are taking part in a nationwide uprising to call for the end of the regime. The uprising, which began in December 2017, began over the major economic problems that were occurring long before the U.S. sanctions, but soon turned into an anti-regime protest, with the people loudly calling for the mullahs to go and throwing their support behind the democratic Iranian opposition.