Tehran, Iran, Aug. 11 – More than a dozen
protestors arrested in the oil-rich city of Ahwaz,
southern Iran, during a demonstration in July were sentenced to serve
prison time and to be flogged in public, Iran’s state-run news agency
reported on Thursday.
A court in Ahwaz sentenced the 15 individuals to
flogging and jail time for “creating mayhem and disrupting public order”.
They had all been arrested during anti-government protests on July 27 and
were accused of setting tyres on fire in the
street and throwing stones at government buildings and vehicles belonging
to the State Security Forces.
There were heavy clashes between government forces and protesters in Ahwaz during the final week of July.
The city’s local state-run radio urged residents to stay at home as
security forces imposed curfew on the areas of the city inhabited by ethnic
Protestors chanted anti-government slogans and demanded an end to the
government’s “ethnic cleansing” policy.
Ahwaz, provincial capital of Khuzistan, is home
to Iran’s ethnic Arab population and has been a
hotbed of anti-government demonstrations.
Dozens of people were reportedly killed in week-long clashes between mainly
ethnic Arab protesters and security forces in Ahwaz and several other cities in Iran’s Khuzistan
province in April. The strategic
area contains much of Iran’s oilfields.