The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that the situation in Iran is now critical as security forces harden their response to anti-regime protests. Over 300 people have been killed in 25 of Iran’s provinces, including more than 40 children, since uprisings began in September.
The UN official stated that “over 40 people have been killed in mainly Kurdish cities in the past week”.
Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights, a Norway-based Kurdish human rights NGO monitoring abuses in Iran, has reported increased militarisation in the response to protests that have blighted the regime since the death of Jina (Mahsa) Amini on 16 September at the hands of the morality police.
At least five people were shot and killed by government forces during protests in Javanroud, Kermanshah province. At their funeral, which was attended by thousands, another five were killed in a shelling attack, according to Hengaw. Security forces also shelled a vehicle transporting donated blood to the hospital in Javanroud, reported the human rights watchdog.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are employing “AK-47s, G3s and semi-heavy machine guns to suppress the protests,” reported Hengaw.
There are also recent reports emerging of the corps shelling civilian residences in Bukan.
Iran’s ayatollahs helped the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad quash a similar protest movement in his country a decade ago by using lethal forces on such a scale as to force an armed uprising, reported The Guardian.
Iran’s suppression of anti-regime protests appears to have entered a dangerous new phase: the UN Human Rights Commissioner described the situation as “critical”.