Ahwazi people protest over water diversion of Karoon River

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Following the revelations of a new plan by the Iranian regime to divert more water from Ahwaz to central provinces of Iran, Ahwazi Arab citizens on Thursday defied the regime’s ban on protests to stage a peaceful demonstration on the western bank of the Karoon River against the planned move.

The protesters called on international  environmentalist organizations and on the United Nations Commissioner and Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, urging them to take action and intervene to stop the regime’s planned diversion of the Karoon River, whose effects would be catastrophic not only for the indigenous people but for the environment.

A large number of local residents, old and young,  turned out for the protest, carrying banners and placards in three languages – Arabic, English and Farsi – warning the Iranian authorities of the potentially devastating effects of diverting more of the river’s waters, with messages including, “The Karoon belongs to Ahwaz”, “We will save the Karoon”, “We will die for the sake of the Karoon”, “The international community should pay very close attention to what’s happening in Ahwaz due to the effects of climate change”,  “Stop the environmental disaster and human rights abuses in Ahwaz”, “We’ll give our blood but we won’t give our beloved Karoon”, and “I am a farmer and Karoon ”