Iran: State-ordered use of excessive force against protesters
By Ali Latifi
The people of Iran have been on the streets protesting since Friday 15th November after the regime announced a massive price hike affecting petrol prices. The regime’s treatment has shocked people all over the world. It is thought that more than a thousand protesters have been killed and many thousands injured.
On top of this, the Iranian regime has been arresting and detaining thousands of prisoners.
Only a few days ago, the governor of Ghale Hasan Khan (Qods city) admitted that security forces have been ordered to shoot at and kill protesters. Leila Vatheghi said during a televised interview on state television that she has personally “ordered security forces to shoot and kill anyone who entered through the gates of the governor’s building”.
Reports surrounding this have confirmed that dozens of protesters have been killed or injured as a direct result of her orders.
Vatheghi, during her interview, applauded the security agents’ use of force.
Why Iran use excessive force against protesters?
The regime’s laws are archaic, but even these do not give a governor the right to order security agents to use lethal or excessive force against protesters. Provincial security councils, on the other hand, do have the authority to make such orders.
Furthermore, the country’s Interior Minister has praised Vatheghi for her response. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli commended her on her “on the ground management”.
This news should be provoking a major international reaction, especially from democratic countries that uphold the human rights of their citizens.
According to international law, it is forbidden for states to open fire on protesters that are unarmed.
Less than a month ago, just days after the protests started on 15th November, the Human Rights Office of the United Nations released a statement highlighting concerns about the force the Iranian regime has been using against the protesters across Iran. The office urged the Iranian regime to immediately halt the use of force against the people.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has indicated that protests have spread to more than 189 cities and towns across the country. The main opposition to the Iranian regime, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) has “Resistance Units” all across the country and it is reporting on the real situation.
The PMOI / MEK has compiled a list of those that have been confirmed dead; and it is getting longer with every day that passes.
The demands of the people are simple – they want regime change because it is their only hope of ever having freedom, equality, democracy, peace and human rights. None of this is possible with the mullahs in power. In fact, the regime’s pillars are suppression of all of the above.
It is now up to the international community to support the people and their legitimate demands. The President-elect of the NCRI, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, has called on the United Nations Security Council to urgently visit the country to assess the situation and prevent further killings and arrests of protesters.