The Iranian regime sentenced 86 people to overall 2,580 lashes and 344 months of prison for protesting water diversion to the IRGC linked Isfahan Steel Factory.
The Borujen Criminal Court in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province tried 103 protesters for “disrupting public order and peace” and “disobeying government agents on duty” on July 31.
According to the Human Rights Activists in Iran, 86 of them were sentenced to 30 lashes and 4 months of prison each.
In July 2016, residents of Boldaji protested the transfer of their much needed water to the Sefid Dasht Steel Factory owned by the IRGC linked Isfahan Steel Company. The protests led to clashes with security forces, who in turn killed and wounded a number of protesters. Many others were detained.
The region suffers from water scarcity and the water transfer let to severe water shortages in the region. Reports indicate that plans for the transfer are still impending.
The Isfahan Steel Factory aka Mobarakeh Steel Factory was sanctioned by the US Treasury in October 2018 for its links with the IRGC and funding the Basij.
According to the US Treasury, the Isfahan Steel Factory which is the largest steel maker in the Middle East and North Africa region, “is used as a revenue stream for Bonyad Taavon Basij’s economic conglomerate. Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company has provided millions of dollars each year to Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company, an entity with close ties to the Basij and its Bonyad Taavon Basij”.
Iran has stepped up its crack down on protests by handing down unprecedented prison terms and lashes to protesters and activists.
Most recently 21 activists and protesters were sentenced to lashes in August.