In 2022 the Iranian regime faced a unique popular uprising, which was met with excessive force from its security forces. Hundreds of individuals, including men, women, and children, were killed by live ammunition and metal pellets, while thousands were injured or detained without cause, solely for peacefully exercising their opinions, in the hope of a free and democratic country.
Women and ethnic and religious minorities were subjected to intensified discrimination and violence. Widespread and systematic human rights violations, such as enforced disappearances, torture, and denial of medical care, were prevalent.
Additionally, cruel, and inhuman punishments such as flogging, amputation, and blinding were imposed and carried out. Public executions were resumed, and the use of the death penalty increased. Trials remained fundamentally unfair, and there was systemic impunity for past and ongoing crimes against humanity, including the prison massacres in 1988 and other crimes under international law.
Under the orders of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, hospitals were raided during the nationwide protests, and both the seriously wounded and the bodies of the killed were abducted. Authorities pressurized and persecuted the families of the killed by refraining from returning their bodies.
Additionally, many people were arrested during night-time raids on their homes and were subjected to show trials resulting in death sentences, long-term imprisonments, and multiple executions, including the execution of four young individuals involved in the uprising.
In 2022-2023, a total of 699 people were officially executed, although the actual number is believed to be higher due to secret executions carried out by the regime.
Of those executed, 660 were male prisoners, 18 were female, five were boys, 14 were political prisoners who were executed in prison, and two were political prisoners who were executed in public. Notably, out of the total number of executions, 153 were Iranian Baluch, and 41 were Iranian Kurds.
In 2023, at least 50,142 individuals were reported to have been arrested in Iran, with the actual number likely to be even higher due to the mass arrests carried out during the nationwide uprising.
Of the total arrests, 34,922 were politically motivated, 565 were arbitrary and 14,578 were infractions. Furthermore, 77 individuals were followers of religious minorities.
It is important to note that the actual number of political arrests during Iran’s national uprising is likely to be much higher than the recorded statistics. Many individuals who were supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Kurdish Parties, and civil activists have been arrested, but the full extent of political arrests during this period remains unknown.
The arbitrary arrests in Iran were carried out prior to the nationwide uprising, under various charges such as violating Sharia laws, participating in mixed-gender parties, running immoral social media groups or pages, and participating in the Fire Festival.
On the other hand, social arrests were made under different charges such as thuggery, theft, and drug addiction. Additionally, the arrests of followers of other religions were made under the pretext of propaganda for the Baha’i and Christian religions and carrying out prison sentences.
During the nationwide uprising, individuals of all genders and ages were tortured on the streets and in detention centers. Some of the detainees were killed while being tortured, while others fell into a coma due to the severe beatings they received on their heads and faces, leading to their eventual death in hospitals.
Moreover, some individuals died suspiciously after their release, allegedly due to the physical, mental, and psychological trauma inflicted upon them during their detention.
The regime, following its usual pattern, mercilessly took the lives of numerous citizens without any justifiable reason. The casualties resulting from the arbitrary killings were separate from the widespread uprising that was taking place. Among the victims were 25 cargo porters, primarily comprised of Iranian Kurdish individuals, as well as 20 fuel porters, mostly consisting of Baluch citizens. Additionally, 45 innocent civilians were unjustly killed, and the tragic outcome of torture led to the deaths of six imprisoned individuals.
Apart from the arbitrary killings that were tallied, the nationwide uprising that commenced on September 16, 2022, and persisted until the close of that year witnessed the devastating loss of life of at least 750 young women, men, adolescents, and children at the hands of Khamenei’s security forces.
These innocent lives were callously snuffed out in the streets, either by live ammunition, batons, or by being flung from rooftops. Moreover, as previously stated, several protesters lost their lives while in custody and were subjected to torturous treatment.
Upon scrutinizing Khamenei’s human rights record in 2022, it is apparent that he purposefully took the lives of 1,546 individuals in the span of a single year. Thus, Khamenei is accountable for the deaths of 1,546 people, as well as the cause behind the apprehension and cruel mistreatment of more than 50,000 individuals.