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Iranian Protesters Block Operations At Taftan Mine For Second Time

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda November 01, 2022

Protesters in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan have halted operations at a gold mine in the city of Taftan for a second time.

The RasadBalochistan news site published photos and videos of people gathering in front of the mine, adding that the crowd had succeeding in shutting down the site.

The Taftan gold mine is one of the biggest sources of gold in Iran. The semiofficial ILNA news agency has reported that the mine has 24 million tons of proven gold reserves.

However, Sistan-Baluchistan is still one of the poorest provinces in Iran.

Government officials have yet to react to the news, which comes amid widespread demonstrations in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman while in police custody for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly.

Sistan-Baluchistan has been the scene of one of the harshest crackdowns on the protests following the death on September 16 of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

It has also seen deadly violence when security forces raided the central mosque and the nearby Great Mosalla and opened fire on worshippers. Rights groups say live ammunition was used in the raid, "revealing a clear intent to kill or seriously wound" by security forces.

At least 94 people were killed and 350 wounded on the day, referred to as "Bloody Friday," according to the U.S.-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. At least 13 minors were among those killed.

Activist Atena Daemi wrote on her Twitter account that the closure of the Taftan gold mine by the people and the denial of mining permission to the Islamic republic is "very important news that we should not ignore" as it will send a message to the authorities that people won't back down.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-protesters-close-mine-second- time/32110982.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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