Source: Amnesty International
ICHRCANADA strongly condemns the direct firing, and use of excessive force on protesters against the sudden increase in gasoline price last November, which led to the killings of hundreds of protesters, and among them at least 23 kids (so far). The Iranian government must be held accountable for their crimes against the Iranian people.
Without any further ado the government of Iran must allow an independent and impartial investigations into these killings, and those suspected of ordering and carrying them out must be prosecuted in fair trials.
So Far the reports are as follows, at least 23 kids ages between 8 and 17 were killed by Iranian security forces in the nationwide protests in November last year.
They were shot dead by unlawful firing of live ammunition at unarmed protesters and bystanders.
Between 15 and 19 November 2019, Iran’s security forces unlawfully resorted to lethal force to crush nationwide protests, killing over 300 protesters and bystanders. Amnesty International has uncovered evidence that the victims included at least 23 children – 22 boys, aged between 12 and 17, and a girl reportedly aged between eight and 12. The gravity of the violations perpetrated and the systematic impunity prevailing in Iran requires that the UN Human Rights Council urgently mandates an inquiry into the unlawful use of lethal force by Iranian security forces in the November 2019 protests.
According to the recent reports and evidence from videos, photographs, eyewitnesses, victims’ relatives, friends, and information gathered from human rights activists and journalists.
In at least 10 cases, from the description of injuries on the death certificates it shows that the deaths occurred as a result of gunshots to the head or torso – indicating that the security forces were shooting to kill.
In other cases, the death was by devastating impact that led to crushing the kids brain and shattered skull.
Few cases indicated that the cause of the death was extensive internal bleeding, and a pierced heart and lung.
12 of the 23 kids deaths, took place on 16th of November, 8 kids on 17th of November, and three on 18th of November, in 13 cities in six provinces across the country (Esfahan, Fars, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Tehran), reflecting the widespread nature of the bloody crackdown.
“The killings of the kids within just two days is absolute evidence that the government of Iran has no regards for civilians lives, and they will end dissent at any cost. That’s the very definition of dictatorship. “ Said; Ardeshire Zarezadeh, Executive Director for Iran, and The Middle East at ICHR Canada.
The relatives of the children killed, have reported being subjected to harassment and intimidation, including surveillance and interrogations by intelligence and security officials.
At least one family received veiled death threats against their surviving children, and were warned that “something horrible” would also happen to them if they spoke out.
This corresponds with a broader issue where families of those killed in protests are being intimidated by the state from talking openly about their deaths.
Most have reported being forced to sign undertakings that they would not speak to the media, and observe restrictions on how they commemorate their loved ones in order to be able to receive their bodies. In many cases, security and intelligence officials have placed the families under surveillance, and attended their funeral and memorial ceremonies in order to ensure that the restrictions are observed.
Families of children killed also reported being forced to bury them quickly in the presence of security and intelligence officials, thereby preventing them from seeking an independent autopsy. Which makes it obvious that the government is suppressing incriminating evidence.
In general, the families of those killed in protests have been consistently excluded from autopsies undertaken by the state forensic institute and denied access to information on the circumstances of their deaths, including details of the ammunition that killed them and the weapon that fired it.
In some cases, officials washed and prepared the bodies of victims for burial without notifying their families and then handed them the bodies, wrapped in shrouds, just minutes before the scheduled burial.
“These Families want justice for their loved ones unlawful killings, they have lost their loved ones and on top they are being harassed by the government of Iran.
In conclusion; The authorities seem to be desperate to prevent the grieving relatives finding out the full truth about the killings, and getting access to the evidence that would incriminate those responsible.” Said; Ardeshire Zarezadeh, Executive Director for Iran, and The Middle East at ICHR Canada.
ICHRCANADA urges the state members of the UN Human Rights Council to urgently mandate an independent and impartial investigations into the killings of protesters and bystanders, including these children, and those suspected of ordering and carrying them out must be prosecuted in fair trials.