A building that was damaged during recent protests is cordoned off, in Shahriar, Iran, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP/Vahid Salemi) AP/Vahid Salemi
A building that was damaged during recent protests is cordoned off, in Shahriar, Iran, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

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“The international community’s cautious and muted response to the unlawful killing of protesters is woefully inadequate,” says Amnesty.

By United With Israel Staff 

Amnesty International is calling on the international community to “denounce the intentional lethal use of force by Iranian security forces that has resulted in the killings of at least 143 protesters since demonstrations broke out on 15 November.”

According to Amnesty, “In some cases, there are shocking reports that, when the authorities have returned victims’ bodies to their families, they have demanded payment citing several reasons, including the cost of the bullet that killed their loved one or compensation for property destroyed during the protests … the authorities have threatened victims’ families with arrest if they hold funerals for their loved ones or to speak to media.”

The human rights organization explained, “The deaths have resulted almost entirely from the use of firearms. One man was reported to have died after inhaling tear gas, another after being beaten. Amnesty International believes that the death toll is significantly higher and is continuing to investigate.”

According to a report in the New York Times, “Iran is experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago, with at least 180 people killed — and possibly hundreds more — as angry protests have been smothered in a government crackdown of unbridled force/”

“It began two weeks ago with an abrupt increase of at least 50 percent in gasoline prices. Within 72 hours, outraged demonstrators in cities large and small were calling for an end to the Islamic Republic’s government and the downfall of its leaders,” said the paper.

“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the treatment of unarmed protesters has been by the Iranian authorities and reveals their appalling assault on human life,” charges Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The international community’s cautious and muted response to the unlawful killing of protesters is woefully inadequate. They must condemn these killings in the strongest possible terms and describe these events for what they are – the deadly and wholly unwarranted use of force to crush dissent,” said Luther.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has shown his support for the Iranian demonstrators, tweeting in November, “As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you.”

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