The National: DOZENS Of witnesses are due to give evidence at a hearing set up to investigate allegations of killings and injuries amongst thousands of protesters in Iran.
The Iran Atrocities Tribunal, convening in London, will assess the alleged actions of individuals in Iran, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei and President Ebrahim Raisi, to consider if they constitute crimes against humanity.
An international panel will hear evidence from 45 witnesses against more than 130 Iranian government officials over their alleged actions during civilian protests in November 2019.
The panel will review a further 120 witness statements before delivering a final judgment early next year.
Protests broke out across Iran on November 15 three years ago after the government raised fuel prices by 200% overnight, with no warning, which impacted the country’s most vulnerable who depended on subsidised petrol to work and live.
Government forces reportedly responded to the protests with a brutality that led to the bloodiest crackdown of the past two decades.
Reports suggested that over the course of five days, the Iranian government killed and severely injured thousands of people, including children, and detained and imprisoned many more.
It was claimed the deaths were hidden from the outside world through an “information blackout”, and the following day a government-implemented almost total internet shutdown, which lasted for a few weeks in some parts of the country.
Chairman of The Iran Atrocities Tribunal, Wayne Jordash QC, stated: “The Iran Atrocities Tribunal is an international People’s Tribunal for the Investigation of crimes Against humanity and gross violation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding alleged atrocities that took place in November 2019 during nationwide protests.
“To date, the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed to investigate its own responsibility, or the responsibility of its own security forces, or otherwise facilitate any independent international adjudication for any of this violence or alleged crimes.
“The Iran Atrocities Tribunal consists of independent and impartial jurists who will investigate these events to reveal the truth and to determine where the responsibility lies in light of general principles of law and human conscience with the aim of ending impunity for any international crimes and seeking redress for the victims.”
Shadi Sadr, co-founder and executive director of Justice for Iran, added: “This tribunal represents the unheard voice of the whole country of Iran, where not a single person of any rank has been investigated to date.
“While many have turned their backs on the suffering of the Iranian people, the tribunal will ensure these crimes are rigorously and fairly investigated. Anyone found guilty, must be held accountable.”