EU Josep Borrell Disproportionate Force Against Nonviolent Iran Protestors Unacceptable

Josep Borrell disproportionate force against nonviolent Iran protestors unacceptable

By Azita Carlson

Over the past weeks, many people all across Iran have exercised their fundamental right to assemble and express their economic grievances. A growing body of evidence indicates that despite repeated calls for restraint, the Iranian security forces’ disproportionate response to recent demonstrations has led to high numbers of deaths and injuries. For the European Union and its Member States, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unacceptable,” said Josep Borrell the new European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on December 8 in his statement.  

Borrel also stated that “Iran’s decision to shut down internet access to global networks for over a week prevented communication and the free flow of information for Iranian citizens. This is a clear violation of freedom of speech. Fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and assembly must always be respected.” 

High Commissioner for Human Rights 

On Friday, December 6, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued a statement, expressing alarm over the Iranian regime’s violent response to nationwide protests that began on Friday, November 15. 

Michelle Bachelet announced that there were “clear violations of international norms and standards on the use of force and serious violations of human rights” and she noted that at least 208 people were killed, including 13 women and 12 children.” She added that the numbers might be more than twice that and “those responsible must be held accountable.” 

The State Department 

On Thursday, the United States said that the Iranian regime might have killed over 1,000 protesters in a bloody crackdown on demonstrations, which Washington described as Iran’s worst-ever domestic problem. 

Brian Hook, the US special envoy on Iran, said: "It appears the regime could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens since the protests began…. We know for certain it is many, many hundreds." 

He said that it was difficult to verify exact numbers because of the Iranian regime’s attempts to hide their crimes, by shutting down the internet. He did say that "many thousands" are injured and at least 7,000 have been detained, basing figures on videos posted online from the brave Iranians defying internet restrictions. 

Iranian Opposition 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), “hailed the uprising’s heroic martyrs, and called on the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and its member states to condemn this horrendous mass killing by the Iranian regime and to take urgent action to stop this crime against humanity and secure the release all those arrested.” 

Mrs. Rajavi called on the UN Secretary-General to “send a fact-finding mission without delay to investigate this horrific crime and visit the prisons and meet the prisoners.” Mrs. Rajavi added that the “international community must ostracize the murderous theocracy ruling Iran from the community of nations. Khamenei, Rouhani and other regime leaders must face justice”. 

Iran Protests 2019 Background 

  • Thousands of people took part in the Iran protests.   
  • The protesters demanded ‘regime change’ and the overthrow of Supreme leader Ali Khamenei   
  • The Iranian opposition movement the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), or Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), was behind much of the protests.   
  • According to the MEK, the number of victims who have been identified so far is 380. The MEK released the names of another 30 martyrs of the Iranian people’s nationwide protests on Saturday. 
  • The number of martyrs of the nationwide protests exceeds 1,000. Several children and minors are among the victims. 
  • The Iran protests took place more than 100 areas of the capital Tehran.   
  • The protests also took place in 27 provinces.   
  • According to RahmaniFazli the regime Interior minister, the protesters destroyed at least 50 police and army centers, 140 government centers, 183 police vehicles, nine seminaries, 731 state-affiliated banks, and 70 gas stations.  

 

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