Iranian Regime Killed as Many as 1,000 Protesters, the US State Department’s Top Iran Envoy Says
Iranian regime “could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens,” in recent protests, according to the US State Department Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, Hook talked about the violence inflicted upon demonstrators, describing one incident in which he said U.S. officials believe Iranian regime’s security forces opened fire with machine guns on a large crowd of protesters, killing more than 100 and then loading their bodies onto trucks to be carted away.
The #US Says #IranProtest Toll May Surpass 1,000, Mulls Troops. #France Condemns #Iran‘s Regime for Opening Fire on #Protesters#Italian Lawmakers Urge Support for Iran Protests#FreeAllProtesters #StopIranBloodshed pic.twitter.com/Jy9UX5dp4R
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 6, 2019
Iranian resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) had earlier announced that there have been more than 1000 martyrs in Iran protests in recent days. The figure raised international concerns.
“In Mahshahr, a city in southwest Iran, a number of Iranian demonstrators blocked a road. The State Department has received videos of what happened next. Without warning, the IRGC opened fire on the protesters, killing several people. Many of the protesters fled to nearby marshlands to escape. The IRGC tracked them down and surrounded them with machine guns mounted on trucks. They then sprayed the protesters with bullets. Between the rounds of machine-gun fire, the screams of the victims can be heard. In this one incident alone, the regime murdered as many as a hundred Iranians and possibly more. When it was over, the regime loaded the bodies into trucks. We do not yet know where these bodies went, but we are learning more and more about how the Iranian regime treats its own people.”
Hook said in the briefing adding:
“We have seen reports of many hundreds more killed in and around Tehran. And as the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appears the regime could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens since the protests began. We cannot be certain because the regime blocks information. Among those murdered are at least a dozen children, including 13 and 14-year-olds. We have received reports from family members of victims who tried to recover the bodies. The authorities demanded that the families first pay the cost of the bullets they used. In many cases, authorities would not hand over the bodies until their family promised not to hold public funerals.”
On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Iranian regime’s officials acknowledged that security officials used firearms to crackdown the widespread demonstrations. A report on state television on Tuesday said that some of the protesters killed in the crackdown were “rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers with firearms,” and described how the armed forces had “deftly and vigilantly” fought back against “hostile groups”.
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 5, 2019
Mr. Hook then said:
“Many thousands of Iranians have been wounded, and at least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Iran’s prisons. Many of these protesters have been sent to two prisons, the Great Tehran Penitentiary and Qarchak Prison. Today Secretary Pompeo has determined these entities meet the criteria for gross human rights violations set out in CAATSA, and the State Department is submitting to Congress the names of these entities.”
“We have seen reports that protesters have been subject to abuse and mistreatment during interrogations, arbitrary beatings, and rape. Qarchak Prison is Iran’s largest women’s prison, and also holds many members of religious minority communities. It too is known for unbearable conditions, including regular assaults and inappropriate behavior of prison guards towards women, chronic lack of water, unsanitary living spaces, and an environment that enables rape and murder.” he said, adding that U.S. officials believe prison conditions are horrific.
Mr. Hook told reporters at the State Department that: “The United States calls for the immediate release of all protesters detained in prison, as well as all the political prisoners currently held by the regime,”
“Now is the time for all nations to stand with the Iranian people, diplomatically isolate the regime, and sanction those officials who are responsible for murdering innocent Iranians,”
“There has been overwhelming support for the Iranian people by the American people. It is clear there is a bipartisan consensus that the regime’s treatment of the Iranian people is abhorrent and unacceptable. We are unified here in the United States, and the international community likewise should be unified and support the Iranian people.”
Tags: Human Rights, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, Iran Protests, Iran Uprising, IRGC, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), NCRI, People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI