Iran Focus: An international people’s tribunal held in London finished its fifth and final day of proceedings on Sunday, November 14. The Iran Atrocities Aban Tribunal was organized by human rights groups in London, Paris, and Oslo to investigate the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime in November 2019 when they launched a brutal crackdown on nationwide protests, killing 1,500 protesters.
During the tribunal, a number of witnesses came forward to give their testimonies of the events that took place during one of Iran’s despicable human rights abuses. Protesters, arrestees, and relatives of the victims were in attendance for all five days of proceedings and revealed shocking details of the atrocities that were afflicted onto the Iranian people by the regime’s security forces.
The protests in November 2019 began in response to the sudden rise in petrol prices, before escalating to a nationwide uprising across Iran, with protesters voicing their opinions of the regime and calling for their overthrow. International law experts have since stated that the mass slaughter of protesters during that period is a crime against humanity.
A former employee of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Khatam-ol Anbiya Garrison, identified only as Witness 367, gave their testimony on the last day of the tribunal, detailing the IRGC’s role in the crackdown on dissent.
Due to a shortage of forces, the IRGC deployed its employees to participate in the suppression of people. The forces of the IRGC garrison damaged and destroyed people’s shops and vehicles but pretended that the damage was caused by the people.
Witness 18, a woman who wished to remain anonymous, explained that her son was one of the victims brutally gunned down during the protests, but according to his death certificate, the manner of death had been recorded as ‘being hit by an accelerated object’. Following his death, authorities refused to hand over his body to his family, until a week later when they were summoned to the cemetery and told to bury him there.
Witness 119 recalled seeing government agents opening fire on people in a small town, wounding several people, and killing a 16-year-old girl. They noted how following the shooting, the streets around the town were covered with blood, which municipal workers later washed clean.
A woman, identified as witness 2016, spoke about the distressing sight of seeing security forces shooting a pregnant woman at a rally. She explained how the son of her friend tried desperately to help the woman but was also shot at. He was then arrested and deprived of medical treatment. Wounded victims who did make it to medical clinics were also arrested.
Witness 245, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the ambulances carried the wounded to the police station instead of a hospital.
Another heart-breaking story told during the tribunal was that of a group of teenage males who fashioned a shield out of a 12-meter object and threw stones from behind it. Security forces retaliated, opening fire and raining bullets on them, severely injuring a couple of them.