UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned the grave violations committed by the Iranian authorities against protesters and prisoners.
In his report to the General Assembly at its 75th session, he touched on the killing of demonstrators, the state of repression and the denial of minorities’ rights by the Iranian authorities.
He also stressed that the human rights situation in Iran “remains a matter of grave concern due to the continuous and massive violations,” adding “violent repression in which the security forces used excessive and lethal force in the face of nationwide protests in November 2019 and January 2020.
In addition, Guterres expressed his concern about the continued implementation of the death penalty at high rates, including against child offenders, as well as the Iranian authorities directing charges against individuals who express dissenting or critical opinions, including human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.
The secretary general quoted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with “reports of widespread acts of torture and arbitrary detention, as well as the continuing discrimination against women, girls and minorities.”
He revealed that in 2019, at least 280 people were executed, 13 of whom were publicly executed, while between January 1 and April 23 this year witnessed the execution of at least 84 people.
Guterres expressed “deep international concern” at the Iranian security forces’ suppression of the protests on November 15 due to the increase in fuel prices, which extended to 29 out of 31 Iranian provinces.
He said that the Iranian forces directed live ammunition towards the heads of the demonstrators and passers-by, where at least 304 people were killed, including 23 children (22 boys and one girl) and 10 women, between November 15 and 19, 2019 according to the statistics of the Commission for Human Rights, but reports of other organisations and opposition sources indicate the killing of 1,500 demonstrators.
He also expressed concern about the fate of at least 7,000 detainees since the protests, including the women who are in Tehran’s Qarchak prison.
The report states that detained protesters are denied medical treatment, subjected to torture and ill-treatment, and forced to make false confessions.
In the context, the UN report documented the testimony of three detainees from Tehran, Tabriz and Ahwaz, who made statements stating that “the interrogators physically assaulted them and tried to force them to admit that foreign entities were behind the protests.”
The secretary general said that he is deeply concerned about the continued pattern of excessive use of force by the security forces during the protests in dozens of Iranian cities in January 2020.