UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

Unspalsh/Mohamad Babayan Deyr Gachin Caravansary in Iran. The UN is alarmed over alleged rights violations and deaths resulting from recent protests in the country.

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


In the wake of recent protests in Iran, the top United Nations human rights official expressed alarm on Friday over multiple human rights violations which have reportedly taken place across the country.

She highlighted a continuing lack of transparency concerning casualties, the alleged mistreatment of thousands of detainees and continued arrests reported throughout Iran, after weeks of protests which began over major increases in petrol prices.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that at least 7,000 people have reportedly been arrested in 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces since mass protests broke out on 15 November, saying that she was “extremely concerned about their physical treatment, violations of their right to due process, and the possibility that a significant number of them may be charged with offences that carry the death penalty, in addition to the conditions under which they are held.”

“In such circumstances, with so many reported deaths, it is essential the authorities act with far greater transparency,” added Ms. Bachelet.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has information suggesting that at least 208 people were killed during five days of demonstrations, which official Government sources said involved between 120,000 and 200,000 protestors. Other, yet unverified reports, convey the number of deaths to be more than doubled that.

“They must undertake prompt, independent and impartial investigations into all violations that have taken place, including the killing of protesters and reported deaths and ill-treatment in custody”, stressed the UN rights chief. “And those responsible must be held accountable”.

She pointed out that there appear to be “multiple violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has ratified and is obliged to uphold.”

‘Shooting to kill’ on camera

Security forces responded to unarmed protesters with water cannon, tear gas, batons and live ammunition. And according to some reports, said OHCHR, the Basij militia and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps used live ammunition against demonstrators.

“Verified video footage indicates severe violence was used against protesters, including armed members of security forces shooting from the roof of a justice department building in one city, and from helicopters in another,” Ms. Bachelet asserted.

She added that OHCHR has also received footage showing security forces shooting unarmed demonstrators from behind as they ran away and other straight on “in other words shooting to kill”.

“These are clear violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, and serious violations of human rights”, underscored the human rights chief.

As well as protestors, bystanders and people watching from their homes were reportedly hit with bullets when Iranian security forces used machine guns against protesters in Jarahi Square in Mahshahr, on 18 November.

“There are conflicting reports about whether or not there were one or more armed people among the protestors,” Ms. Bachelet said.  “But this does not in any way justify such an indiscriminate, horrifying and deadly reaction by the security forces.”

‘Forced confessions’

OHCHR has received numerous reports of ill-treatment against those arrested, including forced confessions.

“Many of the arrested protesters have not had access to a lawyer, meaning due process is not being respected,” Ms. Bachelet continued. “There are also reports that individuals who were wounded or otherwise injured during the crackdown are being denied medical treatment in detention.”

Concerned over reports of journalist intimidation, with family members of Iranian journalists working for news channels based outside Iran reportedly summoned and threatened with reprisals by intelligence officials, the UN rights chief said, “the picture now emerging from Iran is extremely disturbing”.

“I urge the authorities to immediately release from detention all protestors who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, and to ensure their right to due process, including access to a lawyer of their choosing during the investigative stage”, Ms. Bachelet spelled out.

She also urged the Government to respect Iranians’ right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

The High Commissioner concluded by calling on the Government to investigate the “violations that have already occurred, to restrict the use of force to the greatest extent possible, as provided for under the relevant international norms and standards”.

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

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

This is what different countries are doing to stop coronavirus from spreading

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

Rule of law in Poland: MEPs point to “overwhelming evidence” of breaches

MEPs want to boost energy storage in the EU to help spur decarbonisation

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

Does Greece really weigh what is asking for today in Russia?

Why India is ready to become a supercomputer power

Main results of EU Environment Council, 25/06/2018

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

‘Warp speed’ technology must be ‘force for good’ UN chief tells web leaders

‘Beyond reasonable doubt’, international court convicts notorious DR Congo rebel leader of war crimes

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

Recognizing, protecting and empowering youth rights in Europe and the world

What universities can learn about citizenship in the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus makes inequality a public health issue

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

Pandemic and quarantine: What can we do for our mental health?

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Peace operations benefit from improved cooperation between the UN and troop-providing countries, says peacekeeping chief

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

How one traumatised child survived genocide and started a movement for mental health

Yemen: EU allocates over €70 million to help most vulnerable population

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

Israeli security forces’ response to Gaza protests ‘a recipe for more bloodshed’, says UN expert

General Elections in Spain: Twitter organises the first digital debate to empower young people.

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

MEPs: Focus on crisis response when coordinating economic and budgetary policies

3 hard-won lessons from a decade of negative cleantech returns

“They are trying to make improvements, but of course they are quite slow for my generation”, Vice President of JADE Victor Soto on another Sting Exclusive

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

The US reject EU proposal for prudential financial controls

Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

These rules could save humanity from the threat of rogue AI

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

How Africa and Asia are joining forces on universal healthcare

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

How we can survive the great COVID lockdown: IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath

‘Extinction crisis’ pushes countries to agree stronger protection for global wildlife

3 unexpected consequences of the US-China trade war

Here’s why e-mobility must be at the heart of the green recovery

Sustainable Development Goals: making the world a better place

‘Bleakest period yet’ in Occupied Palestinian Territory: UN human rights expert

Why the evolution of blockchain reliability is critical to protecting your digital assets

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

We must stop choking the ocean with plastic waste. Here’s how

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

This disease once wiped out 60% of Europe’s population – and now it’s back

This project is turning abandoned fishing gear into volleyball nets

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education

Food finally features in the climate debate. Now what?

‘We need to do more’ to transform the world, deputy UN chief tells African audiences

How TV has brought mental health issues into the light – and helped to banish stigma

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

This is how countries compare on gun deaths

Eurozone: New data show recession and debt closer to explosion

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