Iran | Human rights organisation claims 72 civilians, including women and children killed in the past week

In its assault to quell the protests triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death, the Iranian security forces, according to a human rights organisation, have allegedly killed 72 individuals just in the last week.

The Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said that 416 people have lost their lives in the bloody crackdown; of this 21 were women and 51 were children.

It claimed that 72 people had died in the previous week alone, 56 in western Kurdish-populated areas where protests had recently increased.

The NGO’s report comes as the United Nation’s Human Rights Chief Volker Turk during a UN Human Rights Council special session on Thursday described the situation as “critical”.

Watch | Iran Protests: Kurd dominated regions targeted, armoured vehicles deployed in Mahabad city

A spokeswoman for the UNHRC, Jeremy Laurence, expressed particular alarm over the authorities’ “apparent refusal to release the bodies of those killed to their families”.

He condemned them for making such releases “conditional on the families not speaking to the media or agreeing to present a false narrative on the cause of death.”

Another Norway-based organisation called the Hengaw rights group has accused Iranian forces of using machine guns to fire at civilians and of shelling residential areas.

The group claimed to have verified the deaths of 42 Iranian Kurdish citizens in nine places over the course of the previous week, practically all of whom were allegedly gunned down directly.

On Monday, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), which has its headquarters in New York, pleaded with the international community to take action to stop a massacre in Kurdish-populated areas.

Its director Hadi Ghaemi warned, “Unless Islamic republic authorities decide the costs of massacring civilians to crush the ongoing protests in Iran are too high, they will continue to slaughter children, women and men with impunity in a desperate attempt to reassert control.”

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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