Forbes: On November 10, 2021, the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, an independent inquiry, opened its doors to a series of public hearings to investigate allegations of mass killings of protesters by the Iranian Government in 2019.
The events of 2019 refer to the killing and wounding of thousands of innocent protesters in Iran. In May 2020, Amnesty International has published a report detailing the deaths of 304 men, women and children killed by Iran’s security forces during the November crackdown. Amnesty International found that more than 220 of the recorded deaths over just two days (November 16 and 17). According to them, “new and extensive research has again concluded that the security forces’ use of lethal force against the vast majority of those killed was unlawful.” The organization believed that the real number of deaths was higher. The report further suggested that in almost all protests in November 2019, “there is no evidence that people were in possession of firearms or that they posed an imminent threat to life that would have warranted the use of lethal force.”
At the time of publication of the Amnesty International report, six months after the killings, Iranian authorities have not issued an official death toll. According to the organization, “Iranian authorities have made a series of false statements or produced propaganda videos on state TV saying most victims were killed by armed ‘rioters’ or ‘suspicious agents’ working for ‘enemies’ of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
In another report, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, stated that: “detained protesters have faced torture and ill-treatment, with some receiving harsh sentences, including the death penalty, after unfair trials. While the Government has created a victim compensation scheme and ordered investigations, those processes lack transparency and independence and are failing to hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account. Victims’ families have also reportedly faced harassment by authorities for speaking out.”
The Iranian Atrocities Tribunal is holding hearings in London between November 10 and 14. The public hearings are part of an independent investigation into the events of 2019.
On November 10, in a surprise appearance, a world-renowned journalist Masih Alinejad provided evidence to the Tribunal. She interviewed 25 families of the victims and reported evidence of torture, and threats of sexual abuse and rape of the mothers of the victims. As she said during the hearing, “Some families have been forced to guarantee that if they interview with media, their other children will die, either by car accident or another way.”
The Tribunal will hear evidence from tens of witnesses and will investigate the role of 133 Iranian Government officials. Among others, the Tribunal is to assess crimes allegedly committed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and President Ebrahim Raisi, and whether they could be classified as crimes against humanity. It’s judgment it expected in early 2022.