Iran. ‘Killings of protesters must be urgently investigated by an international accountability mechanism,’ says Amnesty International chief


Amnesty International’s ongoing investigations into the crackdown on popular protests in Iran have revealed widespread patterns of unlawful use of force and ruthless violence by security forces. These include the use of live ammunition, bird shots and other metallic pellets, violent beatings of protesters, and gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women. Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said in response to the increasingly brutal crackdown under the guise of deliberate internet and mobile phone disruptions:

“We see images of Iranians across the country bravely standing up to the security forces, of women cutting their hair and setting their scarves on fire. Dozens of people, including children, have been killed so far and hundreds injured. The voices of the courageous people of Iran desperately crying out for international support should not be ignored.

The voices of the courageous people of Iran desperately crying out for international support should not be ignored.

Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International

“Iran’s discriminatory laws, decades of repression of all forms of dissent and systemic impunity for unlawful killings during protests and behind prison walls have sparked this unprecedented national outrage.”

“We call on all people around the world to sign our global petition and demand decisive action from their leaders. An independent investigation and accountability mechanism must be established by the UN Human Rights Council for the most serious crimes under international law committed by the Iranian authorities. Iranians deserve more than empty words. The systemic crisis of impunity that has long plagued the country must end, and it must end now.

Iranian security forces unlawfully and deliberately fired live ammunition, live ammunition and other metal pellets to violently suppress largely peaceful protests. The protests were sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa (Zhina) Amini on September 16, days after she was violently arrested by Iran’s ‘morals police’ for violating the country’s discriminatory wearing laws. obligatory veil.

Amnesty International has recorded the deaths of dozens of men, women and children killed by the security forces. The organization believes that the true death toll is higher and continues its efforts to identify the victims.

An eyewitness to the protests on Sattar Khan Street in Tehran on September 25 told Amnesty International: “The security forces showed no mercy to anyone. They fired shoguns at people and beat them with batons, punches and kicks.

Amnesty International has documented sexual assaults and other gender-based violence by security forces, including grabbing women’s breasts and violently pulling women by the hair for removing their headscarves.

The organization is also investigating authorities who carry out mass arrests of protesters and bystanders, as well as journalists, political activists, lawyers and human rights defenders, including women’s and people’s rights activists. belonging to oppressed minority ethnic groups.

Some demonstrators reportedly engaged in acts of violence. The organization stresses that the use of violence by a small group of people does not justify the use of lethal force against people who do not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to members of the security forces. or others. According to international law and standards, even if some protesters engage in violent actions, law enforcement officials must ensure that those who remain peaceful can continue to demonstrate without undue interference or intimidation from the forces. of security.


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