Iran targeting victims’ families in run-up to Mahsa Amini protest anniversary
Iranian authorities are harassing and intimidating the families of those killed by security forces during the nationwide protests which followed Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody as the anniversary of the unrest approaches, Amnesty International has said.
A new 42-page report, Iran: Harassment of families victims unlawfully killed during protests must end, documents the cases of 36 victims’ families from 10 provinces in Iran who have allegedly been subjected to human rights violations in recent months.
They include families of 33 individuals who were unlawfully killed by the security forces during the protests; families of two individuals who were arbitrarily executed in connection with the protests; and family of one torture survivor who committed suicide upon release from detention.
The research also finds that the Iranian authorities have been subjecting victims’ families to arbitrary arrest and detention, imposing cruel restrictions on peaceful gatherings at grave sites and destroying victims’ gravestones.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s deputy director for Middle East and North Africa, said: “The cruelty of the Iranian authorities knows no bounds. As the anniversary of the uprising nears, victims’ families fear that the authorities will deploy their usual repressive tactics to bar them from holding commemorations.
“In their sinister attempt to cover up their crimes, the authorities are compounding the anguish and suffering of victims’ families by preventing them from demanding justice, truth and reparation or even planting flowers at their loved ones’ graves.
“We are calling on all countries to exercise universal jurisdiction and issue arrest warrants for Iranian officials including those with command responsibility who are reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law committed during and in the aftermath of the uprising.
“The international community must also press the Iranian authorities to respect families right to freedom of expression, quash all unjust convictions and sentences against them and drop all charges against those facing reprisals for speaking out.”