Amnesty International to Iranian Regime: Release all Protesters
Amnesty International has called upon Iranian authorities to release those who have been arrested solely for taking part in the protests. In an August 8th letter, Amnesty International also called for the authorities to conduct a prompt, impartial, and independent investigation into the shooting of Reza Outadi, a protester in Karaj who was killed on August 3, 2018.
The Iranian regime has responded to the spread protests and demonstrations across the country over the past week, with violent suppression and widespread arrests based on reports from MEK network inside Iran.
Public statement: Amnesty International calls on Iranian authorities to protect all detainees from torture following recent mass arrests and conduct a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into the killing of protester Reza Outadi in Karaj https://t.co/8BVxVmrxve pic.twitter.com/IwMGozDUyR
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) August 8, 2018
The letter from Amnesty International also urged authorities to protect those who have been detained from torture and other poor treatment and to reveal the location and dates of the dozens of detainees whose status has been unknown since their arrests.
Among those detained by the regime is Human Rights Defender Nader Afshari. He was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence Services (MOIS) agents in Karaj on August 1, 2018. He is believed to be held in a secret facility, but his exact whereabouts are unknown.
Amnesty International has expressed concern about reports that detainees who have been taken to Evin prison, Shahr-e Rey prison, and Fashafouyeh prison have not been given much if any access to their families or attorneys.
Protests began on July 31st in response to the rapid decrease in value of the rial and quickly spread across Iran. Deep dissatisfaction with the regime and its policies caused the protests to shift rapidly from economic matters to calls for regime change. The MEK network inside Iran reported chants of “Death to Khamenei!” and “Death to the the dictator!” in cities across Iran.
The regime responded to the protests with violent suppression, injuring dozens of people in the process. Videos taken during the protests and shared on social media show crowds of people running from the sound of gunfire.
Reza Outadi was a 26-year-old man who went to a protest in Karaj on August 3rd and was shot to death. The regime’s Prosecutor General of Karaj said that Outadi was “killed by gunfire that came from protesters amidst the rioting that took place” in Karaj. He claimed that Outadi was “shot in the back and killed.” He further claimed that security forces were also injured as a result of being shot, stabbed, and hit with stones. Reports from the MEK network in Iran say that Outadi was shot by security forces who fired into a crowd of unarmed protesters. During last December protests, at least 50 protesters were slain by repressive security forces, some under torture, while the regime authorities had claimed they had committed suicide!
The Fars News reported on August 7th that the regime’s Prosecutor General of Karaj announced that a special unit was to be set up to investigate Reza Outadi’s death.
Amnesty International has expressed concern that the regime’s special unit does not meet the standards of impartiality and independence required under international law. Amnesty urges Iranian authorities to ensure that the investigation into Reza Outadi‘ dreary is both impartial and independent and that anyone who is reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility is brought to justice in a fair trial without the death penalty as an option.