Friday, 2 Dec 2022 - 8 of Kislev, 5783
EU

The EU denounces ‘disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors’ in Iran

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”People in Iran, as anywhere else, have the right to peaceful protest. That right must be ensured in all circumstances,’’ said an EU statement.

The European Union denounced the violent crackdown by Iranian security forces across the country against demonstrators protesting the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, after she was detained and abused by the morality police for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. Officers reportedly beat her head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles.for not wearing the headscarf.

‘’A growing number of reports indicate that, despite repeated calls for restraint, the response of the Iranian security and police forces to demonstrations has been disproportionate and resulted in the loss of lives as well as a large number of injuries,’’ said a statement from High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union.

At least 41 people have been killed in the government crackdown but analysts said the number of deaths is much higher than the official tally.

At least 1,200 people have been arrested, the state-backed Tasmin news agency reported..

‘’For the European Union and its member states, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unjustifiable and unacceptable. People in Iran, as anywhere else, have the right to peaceful protest. That right must be ensured in all circumstances,’’ the statement said.

The EU and its member states urged ‘’ the Iranian authorities to strictly abide by the principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. Therefore, we expect Iran to immediately stop the violent crackdown on protests and ensure internet access, as well as the free flow of information. Furthermore, we expect Iran to clarify the number of deaths and arrested, release all non-violent protestors and provide due process to all detainees. Moreover, the killing of Mahsa Amini must be duly investigated and any proved responsible for her death must be held accountable. We take note of the President of Iran’s statement in that respect.’’

The Iranian authorities severely restricted internet access blocked instant messaging platforms, which, the EU consider as a ‘’blatantly violates freedom of expression.’’

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity.”

He “stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events … a riot.”

The EU said it will ‘’continue to consider all the options at its disposal ahead of the next Foreign Affairs Council, to address the killing of Mahsa Amini and the way Iranian security forces have responded to the ensuing demonstrations.’’

Videos circulating on social media have captured violent unrest in dozens of cities across the country over the past few days, with some showing security forces firing what appeared to be live ammunition on protesters.

Several hundred Iranians living in France and human rights activists gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest against Iran’s crackdown on demonstrations, chanting slogans against Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They also urged French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene and make a stance against Khamenei’s actions.

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