At least 7,000 people have been arrested following protests that began last month in Iran, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights revealed on Friday, demanding the release of arbitrarily detained persons.
The protests broke out on 15 November in around 100 Iranian cities following the announcement of a sharp increase in petrol prices, as the country is in the midst of an economic crisis exacerbated by US sanctions.
“Until now, information suggests that at least 208 people have been killed, including 13 women and 12 children. Information also suggests that the number of fatalities could be twice as high, but we have not been able to verify,” UN spokesperson, Rupert Colville, revealed at a press conference in Geneva.
High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet is “extremely concerned about the detention conditions, violations of rights to a correct trial and the possibility that a significant number of those arrested be accused of offenses calling for the death penalty.”
“I urge the authorities to immediately release all demonstrators who have been arbitrarily deprived of their freedom,” Bachelet stated.
On Thursday, the United States accused the Tehran regime to have killed more than 1,000 Iranians in the “brutal” repression of the protest. US envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, acknowledged that this assessment was “not certain, because the regime is blocking information.”
Tehran, which classifies the figures as “absolute lies” – supplied by “hostile groups” – has confirmed five deaths so far. Four members of the security forces killed by “rioters” and one civilian.
The Brussels Times