"At least 208 dead," says new Amnesty report

Iranians gather to protest the situation in Iran on the parvis of human rights in Paris on December 2, 2019.
Iranians gather to protest the situation in Iran on the parvis of human rights in Paris, December 2, 2019. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

At least "208 people" have been killed in the crackdown on the protest movement that began in mid-November in Iran, said Monday, December 2, Amnesty International, revising upward its previous record of 161 deaths released Friday.

"The actual balance sheet" of this repression "Is likely superior" to 208 dead, adds in a statement, the NGO based in London, stating that this estimate is based on "Credible information" obtained by him. Dozens of deaths were recorded in the only city of Chahriar, Tehran province, "One of the cities where the balance (…) is among the highest »according to Amnesty.

"This alarming record is further proof that the Iranian security forces have engaged in a horrific killing"says Philip Luther, Amnesty's research director for the Middle East and North Africa region. he "Demonstrates the total disregard of the Iranian authorities for human life"he adds.

Arriving on November 15 following the announcement of a gas price increase, the violent protests in places quickly spread to at least 40 cities and towns. They have been accompanied by fires or attacks on gas stations, police stations, shopping centers, mosques or public buildings, according to the Iranian media.

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Families of endangered victims

The Iranian authorities, according to which the protest movement is the result of a "Plot" abroad, had reacted to Amnesty's previous record as "exaggerated". They only confirmed the death of five people – four members of the security forces killed by "Rioters" and a civilian – and announced about 500 arrests, including 180 "Ringleaders".

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In its statement on Monday, Amnesty urges the international community to ensure that "This bloody repression" accountable, and accuses the Iranian authorities of not having any "Intention to conduct independent and impartial investigations".

The NGO also claims that families of victims have been threatened and instructed not to talk to the media and not to organize funerals for their loved ones. Amnesty adds that it has analyzed and verified videos showing "That the Iranian security forces fired on unarmed protesters".

Internet access was blocked across the country as early as 16 November, making it very difficult to assess the extent of the crackdown.

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Rally in Paris

In Paris, a few hundred people, Iranians and sympathizers, including French elected officials, demonstrated Monday afternoon against " the slaughter " in Iran, gathered behind a banner where was written "The massacre of protesters is a crime against humanity". "The regime has moved to a new phase: it has given the systematic order to shoot the protesters. It's new. Never has there been such a massacre "Agence France-Presse (AFP), a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), organizer of the event, told AFP.

"The international community must condemn without complacency. We must stop closing our eyescontinued the NCRI member, which federates part of the opposition abroad and, in particular, the People's Mojahedin, an exile opposition group qualified as a sect "Terrorist" by Tehran.

"France must take the initiative of a fact-finding mission in prisons in Iran"he added, echoing the call of the Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran, which brings together French MPs and supports the NCRI's call for the establishment of a UN mission to "Assess the number and situation of those killed, injured and imprisoned".

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