After a little less than a year, the Iranian government has yet to investigate the killing of at least 1,500 protesters during the nationwide November 2019 uprising. This is while State Security Forces (SSF) detained around 12,000 demonstrators and imprisoned them in unknown places. The fate of many detainees remains unclear.
Furthermore, the judiciary sentenced to death a significant number of those arrested merely due to their participation in protests. However, SSF members have never stood trial for the use of lethal force against empty-handed protesters. In his October 26 remarks, Javaid Rehman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran’s human rights situation, slammed Iranian authorities for arbitrary arrests, inhuman tortures, and extrajudicial executions.
“A clear pattern is emerging of an attempt to silence public dissent over the social, economic, and political situation in Iran. In recent months, death sentences and executions have taken place against individuals alleged to have taken part in protests,” the Special Rapporteur said while addressing the UN General Assembly.
He also described the execution of Iran’s national wrestling champion Navid Afkari as an arbitrary execution. He also blasted Iranian authorities for protest-related death sentences issued based on torture-tainted confessions and unfair proceedings.
“The report I present outlines my grave concerns regarding the human rights situation in Iran, characterized by systematic violations of human rights and continued impunity,” Rehman added. “The excessive and lethal force used by security forces against the nationwide protests amounted to the worst incident of state violence in Iran in decades. State security officials intentionally used live ammunition against protesters, often aimed at the head or vital organs.”
Hold Iranian Authorities Accountable for Their Ongoing Crimes
Furthermore, Courtney Nemroff, Deputy U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council U.S. Mission to the UN, blamed the Iranian government for gross violations of human rights. She also criticized the ayatollahs for banning the UN Special Rapporteur from visiting Iran.
“We call on Iran to immediately allow a country visit. This carries increased importance this year – there have been no independent or transparent investigations into the regime’s killings of up to 1,500 protesters in November 2019,” Nemroff said.
This US official also expressed her rage over Iran’s use of unfair trials and forced confessions obtained through torture. “The most vicious recent example is the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari on September 12,” she added.
Nemroff highlighted the imperative necessity of an independent and transparent investigation into Iran’s “Death Commissions,” responsible for sending tens of thousands of prisoners to the gallows for their political beliefs in the summer of 1988.
"There have been no independent or transparent investigations into the regime’s killings of up to 1,500 protesters in November 2019 #IranProtests… The most vicious recent example is the execution of wrestler #NavidAfkari"—@USUNpic.twitter.com/hgRCu15vIi
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) October 27, 2020
Previously, the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) frequently urged the international community to launch an investigation over the regime’s use of lethal force against peaceful protesters in November 2019.
On October 8, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi reiterated the Iranian people’s desire to have an international fact-finding mission dispatched to Iran, in parallel with presenting a list of 811 names of protesters killed by Iranian authorities during the November 2019 protests.
“The Iranian people’s desire is this: Form an international fact-finding mission. Here is a list of 811 names of martyrs of the November 2019 uprising so far published by the Iranian Resistance, and the list of names of the children and teenagers who were murdered by Khamenei,” Rajavi tweeted.
The Iranian people’s desire is this: Form an international fact-finding mission. Here is a list of 811 names of martyrs of the November 2019 uprising so far published by the Iranian Resistance, &the list of names of the children and teenagers who were murdered by Khamenei. pic.twitter.com/8UGrWtuuZR
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) October 8, 2020