Photo Credit: Shervan Fashandi's Twitter account
Blood on the streets of Marivan (Kurdistan Province, Iran), Tuesday Nov 19, 2019.

“Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony from people on the ground and information gathered from human rights activists outside Iran reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces, which have used excessive and lethal force to crush largely peaceful protests in more than 100 cities across Iran sparked by a hike in fuel prices on 15 November,” Amnesty International reported Tuesday (Iran: More than 100 protesters believed to be killed as top officials give green light to crush protests).

According to credible reports received by Amnesty International, at least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed – but Amnesty believes the real death toll could be much higher, as some reports have suggested as many as 200 killed.

Advertisement



Below is a breakdown, by city and province, of the 106 deaths reported so far to Amnesty International. Amnesty says it obtained the information from reports whose credibility and reliability it has ascertained by cross-checking interviews with journalists and human rights activists who were involved in gathering them.

Abadan, Khuzestan province: 2
Ahvaz, Khuzestan province: 2
Bandar-e Mahshahr and its suburbs, Khuzestan province: 14
Behbahan, Khuzestan province: 8
Boukan, West Azerbaijan province: 4
Boumehen, Tehran province: 2
Esfahan, Esfahan province: 1
Islamshahr, Tehran province: 1
Javanroud, Kermanshah province: 14
Karaj, Alborz province: 4
Kermanshah, Kermanshah province: 16
Khoramshahr, Khorramshahr province: 3
Mariwan, Kurdistan province: 9
Ramhormoz, Khuzestan province: 6
Robatkarim, Tehran province: 4
Sadra, Fars province: 6
Sanandaj, Kurdistan province: 1
Shahriyar, Tehran Province: 1
Shiraz, Fars province: 6
Sirjan, Kerman province: 1
Tehran, Tehran province: 1

Amnesty reported that “video footage shows security forces using firearms, water cannons and tear gas to disperse protests and beating demonstrators with batons. Images of bullet casings left on the ground afterwards, as well as the resulting high death toll, indicate that they used live ammunition.”

“The frequency and persistence of lethal force used against peaceful protesters in these and previous mass protests, as well as the systematic impunity for security forces who kill protesters, raise serious fears that the intentional lethal use of firearms to crush protests has become a matter of state policy,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International

According to eyewitness accounts corroborated by video footage reviewed by Amnesty International, snipers have also shot into crowds of people from rooftops and, in one case, a helicopter.

While most of the demonstrations appear to have been peaceful, in some instances, as the crackdown by security forces escalated, a small number of protesters turned to stone-throwing and acts of arson and damage to banks and seminaries.

“Even if a small minority of protesters have resorted to violence, police must always exercise restraint and use no more force than is strictly necessary, proportionate and lawful in response to the violence they are facing. Violence by a few individuals does not justify a widespread reckless response,” said Philip Luther.

Several eyewitnesses have told sources reporting to Amnesty that security forces have been taking away dead bodies and injured people from roads and hospitals. Intelligence and security forces have refused to return the bodies of many of the victims to their families or forced families to bury their loved ones in a rushed manner and without an independent autopsy to establish the causes and circumstances surrounding the deaths.

State media reported that, as of 17 November, more than 1,000 protesters had been arrested since the protests began.

Advertisement

Loading Facebook Comments ...