One year since anti-regime demonstrations rapidly engulfed Iran, Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday slammed Tehran for having “failed to provide any real measure of accountability for the violent crackdown” that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of protesters.
Demonstrations began in November 2019 over a large and abrupt increase to the price of fuel, but rapidly morphed into popular discontent with Tehran’s repression and corruption.
At least 304 people were killed in what HRW dubbed Iran’s “most brutal crackdown against protesters in decades.”
Its condemnation comes one day after Amnesty International decried Tehran’s use of internet shutdowns to hide human rights abuses and the killing of protesters.
HRW said: “People interviewed and videos on social media indicated that in several instances, security forces shot people who were fleeing the scene of protests. Also, family members and people with close knowledge of cases of people killed said that victims died from gunshots to the head and/or chest.”
It added: “The authorities have not published any detailed investigation or held anyone accountable for the alleged abuses.”
Tara Sepehri Far, HRW’s Iran researcher, said: “One year after the November crackdown, Iranian authorities have avoided any measure of accountability and continue to harass the families of those killed during the protest.”
The authorities are “systematically repressing efforts of those seeking justice for the bloody November crackdown,” she added.
HRW said Iranian authorities have acknowledged the deaths of 230 protesters, but are steadfastly refusing to investigate whether their killings were justified.
“Families of hundreds of victims, most of them from the more vulnerable segments of Iranian society, deserve to see those responsible for the serious rights violations held accountable,” Sepehri Far added.
Sadeq Saba, an editor at Persian-language media organization Iran International, told Arab News that despite the killings, and due to the lack of accountability, the country is likely to face yet more unrest in the future.
“The troubles inside the country — the regime has no solution for them, no way of making people happy. Because of this, the Iranians are looking for an alternative,” he said.
Source » arabnews