News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 20 November 2019
On Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that dozens of people have been killed in continuing protests across Iran – mostly by live ammunition.
Rupert Colville, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said:
“We are deeply concerned by reported violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, including the firing of live ammunition, against demonstrators in Iran during the protests that began on Friday and have continued into this week. We are especially alarmed that the use of live ammunition has allegedly caused a significant number of deaths across the country.
“We urge the Iranian authorities and security forces to avoid the use of force to disperse peaceful assemblies and in cases in which an assembly is violent to restrict the use of force to the greatest extent possible, especially actions that are likely to cause serious injury or loss of life.”
UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran Javaid Rehman noted that the people of Iran faced rising inflation, late or unpaid wages and lack of access to work, food, health care and water “among other challenges”.
About the death toll, Amnesty International reported on Tuesday: “At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed, according to credible reports received by Amnesty International”.
“The organization believes that the real death toll may be much higher, with some reports suggesting as many as 200 have been killed,” said the civil rights group in a report on Tuesday.
“The authorities must end this brutal and deadly crackdown immediately and show respect for human life,” said Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Citing accounts of eyewitnesses corroborated by video footage, Amnesty International said snipers and in once case, a helicopter also shot into crowds of people from rooftops.
The reports “reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces, which have used excessive and lethal force to crush largely peaceful protests,” it said.
Intelligence and security forces did not return the bodies to their families and forced others to bury bodies quickly without an independent autopsy, Amnesty said.
Iranian authorities shut down internet access to the outside world Sunday, an outage has left only state media and government officials able to say what is happening in the nation of 80 million.
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