In a statement published on Wednesday, Amnesty International once again highlighted and condemned the Iranian regime’s use of lethal force in dealing with protesters, which has resulted in mass murder, arrest and disappearance.
Our ongoing investigation into the unlawful killings of protesters and bystanders during the November 2019 protest reveals that more than 220 of the recorded 304 deaths took place over just two days on 16 and 17 November. https://t.co/7q1Gg1aWpd pic.twitter.com/jMkH6rqYZ2
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) May 20, 2020
“In almost all protests that took place between 15 and 19 November, there is no evidence that people were in possession of firearms or that they posed an imminent threat to life that would have warranted the use of lethal force, according to research, including video analysis, conducted by Amnesty International. The organization is aware of two exceptions in one city on 18 November where gunfire was exchanged between protesters and security forces,” read the Amnesty report.
“The fact that so many people were shot while posing no threat whatsoever shows the sheer ruthlessness of the security forces’ unlawful killing spree,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Six months later, the devastated families of victims continue their struggle for truth and justice while facing intense harassment and intimidation from the authorities.
“The prevailing impunity afforded to the security forces allows the recurrence of lethal force to crush dissent. In the absence of any meaningful prospect for accountability at the national level, we reiterate our call to members of the UN Human Rights Council to mandate an inquiry into the killings, and identify pathways for truth, justice and reparations,” he added.
“According to information gathered by Amnesty International, in all but four cases the victims were shot dead by Iranian security forces – including members of the Revolutionary Guards, paramilitary Basij forces and the police – firing live ammunition, often at the head or torso, indicating that they were shooting to kill. Of the remaining four victims, two reportedly suffered fatal head injuries after being beaten by members of the security forces. Another two were recorded as having suffocated from tear gas,” read the report.
According to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK) during the nationwide Iran protests, the Iranian regime’s security forces, on the direct order of supreme leader Ali Khamenei, killed at least 1500 protesters and arrested over 12,000. The Iran protests, which erupted after the sudden gas price hike, continued for days, with hundreds of thousands of people identifying the mullahs’ regime as the root of all economic hardships and demanding regime change.
The nationwide Iran protests, which shock the regime’s foundation, clearly showed the Iranian people’s desire for regime change and portrayed the Iranian society’s restiveness. Fearing his regime’s overthrow, Khamenei ordered a massive crackdown, killing thousands of people. The regime has so far refused to announce the number of deaths, fearing another uprising.
This uprising was a turning point for the regime and the Iranian people. The nationwide Iran protests were followed by the second wave of protests in January against the regime’s shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet. The conflict between Iran’s people and the regime reached its height during the regime’s sham parliamentary elections, which faced an unprecedented general boycott. Since the Iran protests, through killing and deception, the regime tries to prevent another uprising, since surely the next uprising will result in its downfall.