Amnesty International has recently issued a reminder about the 304 Iranians who lost their lives in the November 2019 protests. The organization said that these deaths were unacceptable as they were due to the use of lethal force when handling the protesters. Not only that but some protesters were arrested and even some have disappeared altogether.
The investigation commissioned by Amnesty International revealed that 220 of the fatalities of 304 occurred in a killing spree on 16th and 17th November 2019. It was also noted that the protestors were not carrying any firearms so they were not a threat to life which means there was no reason for the killings to take place. These facts were gathered from video footage.
Amnesty International did refer to the situation in one city on 18th November where there was gunfire between protesters and security forces.
The MEK Iran confirmed that more than 1,500 people were killed by security forces and another 12,000 were arrested during the November 2019 protests. https://t.co/5Et8ym9Axj#Iran #MEK #coronavirus @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/jWAz0hsO5y
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 22, 2020
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the report that many of those who were shot posed no threat to anyone and that the killings were considered unlawful and the security forces ruthless. The families who have been devastated by losing loved ones are still seeking justice for these murders but they have been harassed and intimidated to shut them up.
Amnesty International says that if this sort of violence is not revealed publicly it will continue as a way of crushing dissent. It is demanding that the UN Human Rights Council insist on an inquiry into these murders and ensure that truth and justice prevail and relatives are compensated in some way for their losses.
Amnesty International has highlighted that most of the victims except four were shot and killed by Iranian security forces which include Revolutionary Guards, paramilitary Basij forces, and the police. Each was responsible for the use of live ammunition aimed at victims’ heads or torsos which meant that they intended to kill. The other four victims allegedly died from head injuries after being severely beaten by security forces. There were two more fatalities caused by the effects of tear gas.
May 4 – Tehran, #Iran
Teachers rallying outside the regime’s Majlis (parliament) & protesting the mullahs’ policies that are resulting in the expulsion of many in their field of work.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/BhTfVF2O7v
— People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 4, 2020
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK Iran) observers throughout these countrywide protests reported that the security forces were under orders from the supreme leader Ali Khamenei which led to the killing of 1,500 protesters and the arrest of more than 12,000. These protests were fuelled by gasoline price hikes and took place over several days. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Iran’s citizens considered the mullahs’ regime was causing economic hardships and they are seeking a regime change as the only real solution.
The regime was in shock following the protests as it became clearer that the people’s demand for a regime change was serious. It was this fear that led Khamenei to order a massive crackdown that killed thousands of citizens. There has been no official announcement of the death toll as the regime is afraid of a further mass uprising.
Last year’s uprising led to January’s protests
This 2nd round of wave of protests in January fuelled by the regime’s gunning down of a Ukrainian passenger jet led to the Iranian people expressing dissatisfaction with the parliamentary elections. This time there was a general boycott that had never happened before.
Now the regime is trying to think of ways to prevent a further uprising which is likely to result in a fall of the regime.