Amnesty International Report Details Violent Suppression of Peaceful Student Protesters
Amnesty International confirmed that the Iranian regime violently suppressed peaceful protesters during recent anti-regime demonstrations triggered by the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) downing of a Ukrainian airliner earlier this month. The findings were published in a January 15th report prepared by the international human rights organization and shared on its website.
The report included damning evidence of the regime’s use of violence against university students and MEK Iran supporters peacefully protesting the senseless deaths of the 176 passengers who were shot down by a surface to air missile and the subsequent coverup by regime officials.
During the funeral of two of the victims of the downed Boeing 737-800 by #Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps #IRGCTerrorists protests broke outhttps://t.co/WRjAlJkaoS#iranprotest #MEK #FreeIran2020 @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/NONwaK3wTk
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 17, 2020
The report stated:
“Verified video footage, photographs and testimonies from victims and eyewitnesses on the ground obtained by Amnesty International confirm that Iranian security forces used unlawful force against peaceful protesters who gathered across Iran following the authorities’ admission that they had shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane on 8 January.”
The report went on to add specifics about the suppressive tactics used by the regime’s security forces, stating, “The evidence indicates that on 11 and 12 January security forces fired pointed pellets from airguns, usually used for hunting, at peaceful protesters causing bleeding and painful injuries. Security forces also used rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters as well as kicking and punching them, beating them with batons and carrying out arbitrary arrests.”
According to Amnesty International, some protesters required surgery to remove the pellets that were fired at them. Amnesty wrote that such pellets “are completely inappropriate for use in any policing situation.”
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, expressed outrage about the regime’s brutality. “It is appalling that Iran’s security forces have violently crushed peaceful vigils and protests by people demanding justice for the 176 passengers killed on the plane and expressing their anger at the Iranian authorities’ initial cover-up,” he said.
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 10, 2020
Arrests of Hospitalized Protesters
Amnesty International also confirmed that the regime has stationed security and intelligence forces in some hospitals, causing fears that hospitalized protesters will be arrested. Additional reports state that security forces have attempted to transfer patients to military hospitals. After the November Uprising regime forces dragged hospital patients from their beds and took them to be tortured in Iran’s prisons.
“Some medical clinics and hospitals in Tehran have turned away injured people, telling them that, if the security and intelligence forces find out they were among the protesters, they will be arrested,” the report added.
The report also cited the widespread occurrence of arbitrary arrests of protesters. “There are reports that scores of people, including university students, have been arrested in cities where protests have taken place, including Ahvaz in Khuzestan Province; Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Zanjan, Zanjan Province; Amol and Babol, Mazandaran Province; Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province; Kermanshah, Kermanshah Province; Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province; Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province; Shiraz, Fars Province; Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province; and Tehran,” the report stated.
Philip Luther called for an end to the repression of the Iranian people in a statement quoted in the report. “The Iranian authorities must end the repression as a matter of urgency and ensure the security forces exercise maximum restraint and respect protesters’ rights to peaceful expression and assembly. Detainees must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment and all those who have been arbitrarily detained must be released,” said Luther.
Amnesty also documented “shocking allegations of sexual violence against at least one woman arbitrarily arrested by plain-clothes security agents and detained for several hours in a police station.” According to the report, “while in detention, the woman was taken to a room where she was questioned by a security official who forced her to perform oral sex on him and attempted to rape her.”
The MEK’s political platform includes provisions to provide equal rights for women and a reform of the judicial system. The misogynistic regime treats this behavior as acceptable and provides no recourse to women who are victimized. This will end under a democratic and secular government.