Hundreds of Iranians in Lordegan, southwestern Iran, took to the streets, clashing with riot police on October 5, 2019.
Protesters say that a health clinic in Chenar Mahmoudi village used contaminated needles to test hundreds of villagers for diabetes.
More than 200 villagers have so far tested HIV+.
News of the horrific incident initially surfaced after videos were published showing angry villagers, mostly women, protesting outside of the governor’s office on October 2.
Following a national outcry over the incident, Iran’s Health Minister denied the villagers’ claims and blamed the outbreak on “addicts” and “unsuitable relationships” in the village.
State-run media echoed his remarks adding that only 28 people were infected.
These comments infuriated Lordegan residents who took to the streets in the thousands.
Chanting “death to dictator” protesters burned down the governor’s office, the health clinic responsible for the outbreak and the office of the Friday prayers Imam, who represents the regime’s Supreme Leader in the city.
Amateur videos showed injured and bloody protesters. Some were shot with pellet guns including a 15 year old boy.
Other cities also joined the protests. Iranians in the central city of Isfahan marched on the streets asking other Iranians to join the protests.