UNOG Bi-weekly press briefing: Iran Protests OHCHR
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Edited News | OHCHR

UNOG Bi-weekly press briefing: Iran Protests OHCHR

As more information gradually filters out of Iran in the wake of the recent protests, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday (6 Dec) expressed alarm “at the continuing lack of transparency about casualties and the treatment” of thousands of detainees, as well as continuing arrests reported to be taking place across the country.

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville, said on Friday (6 Dec) in Geneva that at least 7,000 people have reportedly been arrested in 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces since mass protests broke out on 15 November, and that the High Commissioner is “extremely concerned about the conditions under which they are being held, including their physical treatment, violations of their right to due process, and the possibility that a significant number of them may be charged with offences that carry the death penalty.”

During the five days of demonstrations, which according to official Government sources involved between 120,000 and 200,000 protestors, the UN Human Rights Office has information suggesting that at least 208 people were killed, including 13 women and 12 children. There are also reports, which the UN Human Rights Office has so far been unable to verify, suggesting more than twice that number killed. Security forces responded to the protests with water cannon, tear gas, batons, and in some cases live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators who posed no imminent threat of death or serious injury. According to reports, members of the Basij militia and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) were involved in shooting protestors.

In what appears to be one of the worst incidents, which took place on 18 November, the Office of the High Commissioner had reportedly received information partially corroborating reports that Iranian security forces used machine guns against protesters in Jarahi Square in Mahshahr – including against people fleeing the area and people hiding in nearby reed-beds – resulting in at least 23 people killed, and possibly many more.

The UN Human Rights Office also said it has received numerous reports of ill-treatment against those arrested, including with the apparent aim of extracting forced confessions, and State television has broadcast the “confessions” of some detainees alleged to be protest leaders and people affiliated with anti-government groups or foreign States.  

DESCRIPTION
STORY: OHCHR / IRAN PROTESTS REAX
TRT: 1:24
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 6 DECEMBER 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des nations
2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is today expressing alarm at the continuing lack of transparency about casualties and the treatment of some 7,000 detainees, as well as continuing arrests reported to be taking place across the country of Iran.”
4. Cutaway, cameras
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“At least 7,000 people have reportedly been arrested in 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces since mass protests broke out on 15th of November, and the High Commissioner is extremely concerned about the conditions under which they are being held, including their physical treatment, violations of their right to due process, and the possibility that a significant number of them may be charged with offences that carry the death penalty.”
6. Wide shot, reporters
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“So far, we have information suggesting that at least 208 people were killed, including 13 women and 12 children. There are also reports, which we have so far been unable to verify, suggesting more than twice that number were killed.”
8. Various shots, presser  

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