Iran protests: Live ammunition reportedly used, says UN human rights office

Credit: UN Information Centre Tehran View of Nowruz Garden Park, Tehran, Iran.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Reports indicating that dozens of people have been killed in continuing protests across Iran – some by live ammunition – are of deep concern, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said on Tuesday.

Citing Iranian media coverage since demonstrations began last Friday sparked by a rise in fuel prices, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said that the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, had acknowledged some of the fatalities.

“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”, Mr. Colville said. “It would suggest that it is not simply the immediate trigger to the protest which was a rise in fuel prices, but…much deeper-seated problems persisting in the country.”

More than 1,000 protesters have also been arrested, the OHCHR official added, although details were difficult to verify as OHCHR does not have an office in the country.

“Overall, protests have reportedly been held in 40 or more towns and cities across the country, but again details have been hard to verify because of the shutdown of the internet late on Saturday”, Mr. Colville explained.

‘Alarming situation is widespread across country’

“There are increasing reports suggesting the numbers killed are certainly in the dozens, in at least two figures, some reports (are) even higher. So, it would be very useful to have a better, clearer picture but it is clearly very significant, very alarming situation and widespread across the country.”

According to the UN humanitarian coordinating agency OCHA, around half of Iran’s 81 million strong population is under-30. People between the ages of 15 and 29 comprise one-third of the population, and nearly three in four people live in towns and cities.

In his second report on the country published in July, the UN independent human rights expert on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Special Rapporteur 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”.

These had been exacerbated by the re-imposition of sanctions, the independent expert insisted, noting also that the most vulnerable members of society -including minorities – had been seriously affected by the deteriorating situation.

Appeal to avoid excessive force

In an appeal to security officials to avoid using excessive force, Mr. Colville called on the authorities to issue clear instructions that they should abide by international norms and standards.

Firearms should only be used in cases of an imminent threat to life or of serious injury and only when less extreme measures are insufficient to address such a threat when dispersing peaceful assemblies, he said.

Protesters should for their part carry out demonstrations without resorting to physical violence or the destruction of property, he insisted, while also calling on the Government to re-establish web access immediately, as well as other forms of communication.

“We would encourage States to maintain the flow of information; if there’s false information they can rebut it, but let’s see the information”, he told reporters, noting that Iran was a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

And in reference to sanctions “imposed by the United States” that were among the serious economic challenges gripping the country despite its huge oil and gas reserves, the UN human rights office spokesperson urged the authorities to “engage in meaningful dialogue” with Iranians.

“Simply responding with harsh words and an iron fist” risked violating international norms and seriously aggravating the situation to everyone’s disadvantage – including the Government’s”, he warned.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

THE ROAD TO GANESHA

At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

In Bahrain, Global Forum for Entrepreneurs and Investment examines empowerment of women, youth through innovation

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: UN Secretary-General Announces “Climate Action 2016” Partnership

‘Repeated attacks’ could close down key hospital in eastern Libya, says WHO

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Thinking throughout HIV: changing a perspective

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

4 rules to stop governments misusing COVID-19 tech after the crisis

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

The EU prepares for the end of LIBOR: the Commission welcomes the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on financial benchmarks

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

Revamp collective bargaining to prevent rising labour market inequalities in rapidly changing world of work

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

China in my eyes

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

Providing mental health during pandemic times

Four ways Artificial Intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and affordable

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

The link between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

Protecting farmers and quality products: vote on EU farm policy reform plans

What’s needed to ensure maternal health for women in vulnerable populations

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Trump declares emergency and WHO urges speed – latest coronavirus updates

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Mental health in midst of a pandemic: can we help?

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s