Amnesty Usa: On November 11, 2021 Amnesty International issued a press release noting that an international “people’s tribunal” on the Iranian authorities’ killing and wounding of thousands of protesters and bystanders during nationwide protests in November 2019 is a powerful initiative against impunity and must serve as a wake-up call to all UN member states. AI Iran researcher Raha Bahreini presented expert testimony at the tribunal, which also included evidence heard from dozens of witnesses, such as protesters, victims’ relatives, torture survivors, healthcare workers, and former security officials. Several expert witnesses will also testify before the tribunal, which will be presided over by prominent lawyers and judges. On the same day Amnesty released a report detailing the deaths of 323 people who were killed by Iran’s security forces during the crackdown on the protests.
On July 23, 2021 Amnesty International issued a press release condemning the use of deadly force against mostly peaceful protests in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. Video footage together with consistent accounts from the ground, indicate security forces used deadly automatic weapons, shotguns with inherently indiscriminate ammunition, and tear gas to disperse protesters, resulting in the deaths of at least eight people and scores of injuries. Many others have been arrested. Protesters took to the streets in Khuzestan—one of Iran’s poorest regions, inhabited largely by Arabic speaking Ahwazis—because of severe water shortages and power outages due to drought and climate change; many were chanting “we are thirsty.” The Iranian authorities have long responded to peaceful protests with violence, including the use of live ammunition and the arrests, torture and mistreatment of those exercising their right to peaceful assembly and expression. Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately cease the use of indiscriminate violence, to release all those detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, and to protect all detainees from torture and other ill-treatment.