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15-11-2022 | Edited News

Bi-Weekly Press Briefing:Call For Release Of Protesters in Iran - OHCHR

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  1. Medium shot, UN Geneva flag alley.
  2. Wide shot, press room with panel of speakers.
  3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH), OHCHR spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence: “As of the 12th of November, excessive use of force used by security forces has led to the killing of at least 326 individuals, including 43 children and 25 women.”
  4. Medium shot, camerawomen filming, staff monitoring.
  5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH), OHCHR spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence: “On Sunday, an Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran found an unnamed protester guilty of moharebeh, or waging war against God’, and efsad-e-fel-arz, or corruption on earthfor allegedly damaging public property and the person was sentenced to death.”
  6. Medium shot, journalists taking notes.
  7. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH), OHCHR spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence: “We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection to peaceful protests, and to drop the charges against them. Human rights law protects the rights of people to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression.”
  8. Medium shot, staff monitoring, journalists taking notes.
  9. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH), OHCHR spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence: “We therefore call on the Iranian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, and to refrain from charging capital crimes, and to revoke death sentences issued for crimes not qualifying as the most serious crimes.”
  10. Close-up shot, journalists taking notes.
  11. Medium shot, press room with panel of speakers.
  12. Close-up shot, journalists taking notes.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has called today to immediately release thousands of protesters who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty while exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression, and to stop using the death penalty as a tool to squash protests.  

“As of the 12th of November, excessive use of force used by security forces has led to the killing of at least 326 individuals, including 43 children and 25 women,” told OHCHR spokesperson Jeremy Laurence a news briefing at the United Nations in Geneva.

The UN Human Rights Office recalled, that under international law, countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty may only impose it for the “most serious crimes” which is interpreted as crimes of extreme gravity, involving intentional killing.

We therefore call on the Iranian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, and to refrain from charging capital crimes, and to revoke death sentences issued for crimes not qualifying as the most serious crimes,” said OHCHR’s Jeremy Laurence.

Protests against Iran's government erupted two months ago after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict hijab rules. Demonstrations are reported to have spread to 140 cities and towns and evolved into the most significant challenge to the Islamic Republic in over a decade.

Instead of opening space for dialogue on legitimate grievances, the authorities are responding to unprecedented protests with increasing severity, according to OHCHR. 

“On Sunday, an Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran found an unnamed protester guilty of moharebeh, or waging war against God’, and efsad-e-fel-arz, or corruption on earthfor allegedly damaging public property and the person was sentenced to death.

OHCHR reported that the Tehran prosecutor said that more than 1,000 indictments had been issued against those arrested in relation to protest in Tehran province alone. Hundreds of other indictments have been issued in the rest of the country.

“We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection to peaceful protests, and to drop the charges against them”, said Jeremy Laurence. He added that «human rights law protects the rights of people to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression.”

The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session to address “the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran” on Thursday, 24 November.

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