Protests continued in Ahwaz (Khuzestan province) amid a heightened security presence on Monday, December 17, with workers demanding the payment of back wages and the release of protesters detained in earlier demonstrations and in raids carried out by security forces. Notably, on the night (local time) of Sunday, December 16, security forces carried out a raid in the homes of protesting workers and arrested 28 people, detaining them until midday Monday.
Continuing workers' protests are to be expected in Ahwaz over the coming days and weeks. An increased police presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be anticipated near demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The protests have reportedly been ongoing in Ahwaz for several weeks, with some claiming that the Iranian government is seeking to oust Arab workers from factories in the city.
Ahwazi Arabs make up a sizable minority in Khuzestan province, with some advocating for independence and others seeking increased power in a future, federalized government. Khuzestan province has also witnessed several protests in recent months over poor economic conditions, drought and water mismanagement, and perceived discrimination against the Arab minority in the province.
Individuals in Khuzestan province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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