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Protests Break Out In Two Iranian Cities, Internet Disrupted

Protesters in Shiraz, Iran, chanting "Don't be afraid, We are together" on July 16, 2020. Screen grab from video on Twitter.

Iranian protesters have taken to the streets in Shiraz and Behbahan as security forces increase their presence on the streets of Tehran and several other cities.

Social media users on Thursday called for nationwide protests at 7:00 pm Friday against the impending death penalty for three young men who were arrested during the protests in November 2019. But people came out into the streets Thursday evening.

Reuters quotes eyewitnesses that police fired tear gas into the crowds in Behbahan to disburse the anti-establishment protesters. reported internet restrictions in Khuzestan and reports on Twitter say internet has been cut in Behbahan. Iranian authorities disrupt the internet during protests not to allow people to coordinate gatherings and prevent information from being shared.

Protesters in Behbahan chanting against the government on Thursday, July 16

Social media users on Thursday reported that security forces have arrrested Farzaneh Ansarifard, the sister of Farzad Ansarifard who was killed in Behbahan during the November protests.

Protesters in Behbahan chanting against the government on Thursday July 16

Videos from Behbahan, a city in the oil-rich Khuzestan Province and Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province, show protesters on the streets chanting against the execution of Amir-Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi.

The first city where protests broke out was Behbahan and shortly after people took to the streets in Shiraz.

Behbahan was one of the first cities where security forces clashed with protesters in November 2019. At least ten protesters were killed in that city during the November unrest.

Social media users have also reported heavy police presence in several cities including Tehran and Tabriz.

Some social media users have also reported mobile Internet disruptions in Inrancel and Hamrah Avval in Behbahan.

An unprecedented "storm" of tweets to condemn the death penalty for the three young man erupted on Twitter on Tuesday with the hashtag "Stop Executions In Iran" reaching a record of 8 billion views and five million retweets.