DUBAI, May 30 (Reuters) – A day of national mourning to commemorate victims of a collapsed building in the Iranian city of Abadan turned violent over the weekend, as demonstrators clashed with police, according to videos of the incidents posted on social media on Monday.
May 29, 2022#MinooIsland #Iran
Video of funeral procession of four men who died when #Metropol high-rise building collapsed in #Abadan #IranProtests2022 #IranProtests #KayhanLife pic.twitter.com/xsfVRfa1Vx
— Kayhan Life (@KayhanLife) May 29, 2022
The death toll of the building collapse a week ago rose to 32 on Monday, according to the governor of Khuzestan province, and bodies were still being excavated from the 10-storey residential and commercial building.
Video shows a young child rubbing his eyes after Islamic Republic’s security forces throw tear gas to disperse the crowd. #IranProtests2022 #IranProtestshttps://t.co/WUVmDLLoAq#kayhanlife pic.twitter.com/eROVX5JN3L
— Kayhan Life (@KayhanLife) May 30, 2022
Enraged Iranians from other cities in Iran took to the streets to protest after the tragic collapse of a 10-story building in #Abadan chanting anti-government slogans. The IR security forces violently use tear gas to disperse the crowds. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/2RNP720jEK
— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) May 27, 2022
Iranians were infuriated by the circumstances behind the building’s collapse, which officials blamed on corruption and lax safety. There were also protests last Friday evening in the country’s south, where Abadan is located. Read full story
Iranians were already frustrated with high food prices and economic problems at a time when efforts have stalled to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers which would provide sanctions relief.
A video posted on Twitter by onlookers showed a crowd of protesters in Abadan encircling a dozen anti-protest motorbike policemen on Sunday night, throwing projectiles at them and pushing them off their bikes.
Other Twitter footage shared by a 50k followers Iranian account focused on Iran protests showed anti-protest police units charging demonstrators with batons and firing teargas at them. The videos could not be independently authenticated by Reuters.
Local Abadan TV also showed cleric Mohsen Heidari AleKasir, the representative of Khuzestan in Iran‘s Assembly of Experts, address mourners on Sunday night before cutting out live footage after crowd members could be heard loudly repeating the word “shameless.”
#Iranians shout down #Abadan’s Friday prayer leader as state TV cuts off the image & sound. The Friday prayer leader is the dictator Khamenei’s representative in each city. #Abadan is in full revolt as #Iranians seek an end to the despised clerical regime. pic.twitter.com/xccAWYBTps
— Alireza Nader علیرضا نادر (@AlirezaNader) May 30, 2022
Authorities investigating the building collapse have detained Abadan’s current and past mayors and nine others, including municipality employees and project supervisors.
Official Iranian media have mainly featured religious mourning and funeral processions. Abadan’s governor has warned telespectators on state TV to solely follow official media and eschew “rumours” from social media.
Social media calls to hold solidarity demonstrations for Abadan on Monday afternoon were followed by football supporters in Tehran’s Azadi stadium who shouted “Abadan” before the start of a game, unverified videos shared on Twitter and Iran‘s semi-official Fars news agency showed.
(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by David Gregorio)