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Iran Protests Update: UN rapporteurs, int’l MPs demand action against Tehran

The horrendous crackdown launched by the mullahs’ regime in response to the nationwide November protests continues to raise international criticism
The horrendous crackdown launched by the mullahs’ regime in response to the nationwide November protests continues to raise international criticism

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, December 22, 2019—United Nations human rights experts are calling on the Iranian regime to release all individuals arbitrarily detained and mistreated during the recent November protests that swept across the country in at least 191 cities. The 16 UN experts are also voicing significant concerns over the hundreds of people killed by the mullahs’ security forces.

“We are shocked at reports of the ill-treatment of those detained during the protests that took place in November 2019, and deeply disturbed that the reported use of excessive force by the Iranian security forces led to an untold number of casualties, including deaths,” the experts said according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.

“Reports suggest that detainees are being tortured or are suffering other forms of ill-treatment, sometimes to extract forced confessions. Some are also reportedly being denied medical treatment, including for injuries caused by the security forces’ use of excessive force, and are being held in overcrowded detention centers. Some are being held incommunicado or subjected to enforced disappearances.”

The protests covered cities checkered across Iran, involving populations in the millions, following a new gasoline price hike announced by the mullahs’ regime.  Official sources state that at least 7,000 protesters were arrested, thousands of whom are still in detention. Reports obtained by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) indicate over 12,000 are behind bars.

UN experts also fear that detainees will be denied the right to a fair trial due to the regime’s failure to adhere to due process standards, especially for those who have voiced opposition to the mullahs’ rule.

“Senior officials have said that protesters will face severe punishment,” the experts said. “We have already seen Iranian state television broadcast so-called ‘confessions’, despite claims that these are being obtained under duress. Many detainees are also reportedly being denied the right to a lawyer of their choosing.

“We urge the Government and the judiciary to ensure that all those accused of crimes go through court proceedings that adhere to international fair trial standards, including the presumption of innocence.”

The UN says according to credible sources, at least 304 people, including 12 children, are confirmed to have died, with unconfirmed reports indicating that the total could be more than 400. The number of deaths appears to be particularly high in some provinces with large ethnic minority populations, the experts added.

The PMOI has registered and published the names of 547 individuals killed by the mullahs’ regime. At least 1,500 civilians were murdered by the mullahs’ oppressive security forces and these numbers are unfortunately subject to rising.

“Reports and footage indicate that Iranian security forces not only fired live ammunition at unarmed protesters but also aimed at their heads and vital organs,” the experts said. “Targeting these parts of the body shows that the security forces were aiming to kill or at least cause serious injury. The Governor of Quds City has herself admitted publicly that she ordered security forces to shoot protesters who entered the governor’s building. We are extremely disturbed that the Iranian authorities would use such tactics against peaceful protesters exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, in breach of international standards on the use of force.”

The UN experts said they were still concerned about ongoing suppression of the right to freedom of expression.

“Most disturbingly, the families of individuals killed by security forces have allegedly been threatened not to speak out,” the text continues.

The UN experts: Mr. Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Mr. Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association; Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Mr. Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention - Mr. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez (Chair), Ms. Leigh Toomey (Vice-Chair on Communications), Ms. Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair on Follow-up), Mr. Seong-Phil Hong and Mr. Sètondji Adjovi; and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, comprising Mr. Luciano Hazan (Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Vice-Chair), Ms. Houria Es-Slami, Mr. Bernard Duhaime and Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius.

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is calling on the United Nations to dispatch a fact-finding mission to visit those prisons where detainees of the recent November uprising are being held. In the absence of such supervision, the mullahs’ regime in Iran enjoys a free will to carry any and all crimes.

“16 UN rapporteurs acknowledged that prisoners in Iran are tortured or mistreated in other forms to make forced confessions and injured detainees are denied medical care. The statement by UN Human Rights rapporteurs and experts is the outcome of loss of lives during Iran protests. This is going to continue unless the masterminds and perpetrators of this horrific crime face justice and the religious fascism is overthrown,” Madam Rajavi said.



More than 200 International MPs condemn the mullahs’ crimes

The International Committee of MPs for a Democratic Iran and the British Committee for a Free Iran issued a joint statement announcing more than 200 MPs from 14 countries across the globe express their solidarity with the families of over 1,500 protesters killed in Iran during the November uprising. They also voiced support for the anti-regime demonstrations in 191 cities across Iran aiming to establish democracy and human rights and called for the release of all detainees.

The signatories include MPs from the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Malt, Albania, San Marino, along with Morocco and Jordan. They are condemning the brutal crackdown ordered by Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei against the nationwide demonstrations. Horrific images show members of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) shooting from roof-tops or point-blank range at unarmed demonstrators. In many cases the Iranian regime deployed helicopters and tanks to confront crackdown on the people, the statement adds.



Concerning is the fact that senior regime officials are calling for the execution of arrested protesters, the statement continues. Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani backed oppressive measures against demonstrators and his advisor threatened the MEK – whom senior officials consider the main element behind the recent uprising – to a new killing spree similar to the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. Over 30,000 political prisoners were executed through the course of summer 1988.

The international community’s silence in regard to these crimes, being one of the most horrific cases of the 21st century, is inexcusable. Senior Iranian regime officials must be held to account.

The signatories of this statement call on the United Nations and European Union, along with their Member States, to condemn the crackdown against demonstrations in Iran and take urgent action to stop the killing spree and have all detainees released. The Iranian people should also enjoy unhindered access to the internet.

The signatories also support a call by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi for the UN to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iran to inspect the regime’s prisons and meet with detainees. The statement also calls on the UN Security Council to see into crimes against humanity in Iran and place regime officials before justice.

In addition to current MPs, this statement has also been signed by former Canadian foreign minister John Baird, former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi and other dignitaries. More such political figures from across the globe are signing on to this statement.