December 11, 2009

Amnesty International Releases Report Documenting Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

Washington, DC  Amnesty International released a report yesterday documenting the Iranian government’s human rights abuses before, during and principally after the 12 June election–calling them the “worst in 20 years.” The 83-page report outlines the “many allegations” of torture, rape, killings and arrests, and calls for the Basij and Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) to be held accountable. 

“The Iranian leadership must ensure that the many allegations of torture, including rape, unlawful killings and other abuses are fully and independently investigated,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program. “Members of militias and officials who have committed violations must also be promptly held to account and on no account should anyone be executed.”

Amnesty called on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to allow two UN inspectors to conduct an on-the-ground inspection.

The report came on the tail-end of three days of violent clashes between students and members of the pro-regime forces. On Monday, students took advantage of National Student Day to protest against the government, but the demonstrations spilled into Tuesday and Wednesday. Members of the Basij and IRGC reacted violently, by targeting students and raiding university buildings and classrooms.

Despite the human rights abuses, protests by members of the opposition have continued. Chants such as “Khamenei knows his time is up” can be heard, showing the increased courage of the protesters. Pictures of the Supreme Leader have also been burned, breaking long-standing taboos and demonstrating the endurance of the movement.




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