New York Centre for Foreign policy Affairs (NYCFPA) condemned the Iranian government’s Bloody crackdown on peaceful protests that broke out across the county this month.
Iran has witnessed a series of deadly protests since 15 November which erupted in Ahvaz city. Iranian citizens took to the streets in various cities to organize anti-government protests over the steep increase in fuel prices.
Iranian officials justified their decision of increasing the price of gasoline, saying that the increase happened following the alleged “devastating US sanctions” profoundly affecting Iran’s oil-based economy.
Under international human rights standards, law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. They may use force and firearms only if other means remain ineffective or without any promise of achieving the intended result. However, the repose of Iranian security forces to these protests has been so violent; they reportedly used lethal and unnecessary force, including shooting teargas and snipers firing live rounds to crush the demonstrations. And as initial reports indicated, security forces arrested thousands of protesters.
The Iranian authorities also reacted to the protests by imposing internet blackout to stop demonstrators posting videos or photos about the current incidents and curb more organized protests. It seemed that the authorities are hardly working to hide their repression from the rest of the world.
Accordingly, cutting off access to the Internet violates multiple rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and access to information and the rights to peaceful assembly and association.
“The Iranian government also blocked access to the app stores of the Android and iPhone mobile phones, leaving millions of users in the country open to a range of security risks and with phones that can only operate the state-approved app,” according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran’s (CHRI) investigations.
The real death tally was hard to verify due to the internet blackout at the time of protests, but at least 106 have been killed according to credible reports cited by Amnesty International.
NYCFPA denounced the Iranian Government’s massive crackdown on the peaceful protesters and called on the Iranian authorities to take serious steps to prevent further casualties, ensure the Iranians’ rights to freedom of assembly and expression, and hold the perpetrators accountable for their brutal actions.
“International Community should act seriously toward the fiery Iranian protests to save Iranian citizens from more deadly incidents and spare Iran any future crisis,” said NYCFPA.
NYCFPA called the US government for a prompt intervention to stop the Iranian government’s violent repression of the protests, press it to urgently reconnect the Internet, and abide by International Law and all human rights treaties, which ensure the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion.