London, 27 January 2022: An international people’s tribunal investigating Iranian authorities for allegations of crimes against humanity (including murder, torture and rape) will open its second set of hearings on February 4th, 2022, as over 100 more witnesses come forward with new evidence.
The Iran Atrocities (Aban) Tribunal had its first set of hearings in November 2021 and heard 34 witnesses testify against Iranian authorities for their use of lethal and non-lethal forces. Over 130 witness statements were submitted to the panel. These protests were a result of a sudden spike in fuel prices – peaceful demonstrations were quashed by authorities nationwide and saw thousands, dead, injured, detained, and tortured.
In light of the new evidence received from 116 new witnesses, 27 new individuals have been marked as accused, taking the total number to 160. Hamid Sabi and Regina Paulose, members of the Counsel, who had accused 133 prior to the first hearing, have sent a formal letter again to the Iranian ambassador in London, asking to inform the 160 individuals of the accusations against them, namely crimes against humanity. They also asked of the accused to come forward with any defence they may have. Thus far, in both instances, Counsel’s words have fallen on deaf ears.
“The time has come for your government to start piercing the veil of impunity that is central to almost all the ills of this country and bring back accountability, transparency, and rule of law. As history has shown, no government lasts forever,” the Counsel indicated in this letter.
Although 116 new witnesses came forward after the first set of proceedings, the panel of judges will most likely not be able to question all witnesses due to time constraints. Therefore, their testimonies have been recorded and submitted to the panel.
Taking place between February 4th-6th in London, the hearing will be closed to the public and attended only by a small number of journalists, specially invited to cover the proceedings. Because of increasing security risks and the sensitive information being corroborated, media personnel are prohibited from taking photographs or videos of the event.
The Iran Atrocities (Aban) Tribunal is an international people’s tribunal formed to investigate the crimes committed during the November 2019 protests in Iran. The first public call for witnesses to come forward was made in November 2020; so far, over 300 witnesses have given their evidence and a fraction of them have testified before the panel. The witnesses consist of families of victims, those who were injured or detained, bystanders, members of the government or security forces, and medical professionals.
The Tribunal was organised by 3 civil society groups, Justice for Iran, Iran Human Rights and Together Against the Death Penalty (EPCM). Justice for Iran and Iran Human Rights, in addition to Amnesty International and individual experts, provided insurmountable evidence and research to supplement first-hand accounts of the atrocities.
Watch the videos of the first hearing here.
For more information, please contact [email protected].