Iran Human Rights – In the past few days, hundreds of people were arrested and, according to official sources, at least 24 people were killed under the protests.
A wave of protests which began on December 28 in Mashhad over government corruption, poverty, and the cost of living has developed into protests against the Islamic Republic and its leadership and spread to the rest of the country. But as the protests spread, the security forces have increasingly turned to violence in several cities. According to the official sources, since the beginning of the protests 24 of the protesters have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director and spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR) said, “We call on the international community, especially the United Nations and the European Union, to condemn the Iranian authorities’ extensive use of violence against the protesters, and to support Iranian people’s demands for free elections.”
Many images have been published on the social media indicating that the security forces use of extensive violence in order to repel the protesters. In several videos, gunshots can be heard and protesters with gun wounds can be seen.
One of the protesters in Kermanshah who didn’t want to reveal his name told IHR, “The anti-riot police and plainclothes Basijis take part in the crackdown of the protesters together. Some of the plainclothes Basijis are very young, may be only 12-15 years old, and they attack and beat the protesters with sticks, brass knuckles, and batons.”
Iranian state run media has announced that since the beginning of the protests 24 people have been killed. According to these reports 4 people have been killed in Doroud, 5 in Toyserkan, 2 in Izeh, 2 in Khomeinishahr, one in Kahrizsang, one in Najafabad, 6 in Ghahdarijan and 3 in Shahinshahr.
In the last few days, the Iranian authorities restricted access to social media tools.
IHR is concerned about the condition of the hundreds arrested during the protests. Based on public statements by the Iranian officials, many of those arrested can be sentences to death by the Revolutionary Courts. Moreover, IHR is strongly concerned about a possible wave of executions in the coming weeks and months. Death penalty is the strongest instrument used by the Iranian authorities in order to spread fear in the society and as in the past, mass-executions are what the authorities use in order to restore the broken fear barrier.