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Amnesty International: At Least 143 Killed In Iran, World Reaction Inadequate

Families of protesters killed in the city of Marivan attending the burial ceremony of 7 victims on November 20, 2019.

In a statement released on Monday the UK-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International said at least 143 protesters were killed in Iran during recent protests.

The highest casualties are reported in Khuzestan and Kermanshah provinces where 40 and 34 protesters were killed respectively. According to the statement 9 were killed in Alborz Province, 1 in East Azarbaijan, 7 in Esfahan, 15 in Fars, 1 in Kerman, 20 in Tehran and 4 in West Azarbaijan.

The statement by the human rights watchdog said reliable reports, the credibility and reliability of which has been ascertained by interviewing journalists and human rights activists involved in gathering them, indicate that the number of the protesters killed during the protests in the past few days has gone up.

Amnesty had earlier said 115 protesters had lost their lives in the protests but it has increased the number to 143 in its latest statement. According to Radio Farda's circumspect estimate until November 20 at least 138 protesters were killed by Iranian security forces.

In its statement the UK-based human rights organization has mentioned video footage received from Iran which show Iranian security forces deliberately targeting unarmed protesters at close range.

Security Forces Shot A Protestor At Point Blank Range In Gorgan
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While most protesters were shot, one protester was reportedly killed by tear gas exposure and another was beaten to death, Amnesty stated.

Amensty International has criticized the international community for showing low-level reaction to the recent events in Iran and said: "Though the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the EU and a number of countries have condemned what they described as the apparent use of excessive force, these responses have failed to explicitly acknowledge the use of lethal force to kill protesters, despite mounting evidence."

The human rights watchdog also says that horrific accounts from eyewitnesses and victims' relatives on the ground, information gathered from human rights activists and journalists outside Iran, and extensive video footage analyzed by Amnesty’s Digital Verification Corps provide clear evidence that the Iranian security forces have been intentionally using firearms against unarmed protesters who posed no threat to life.

Amnesty's statement declared that the Iranian authorities have harassed families of the victims, refused to hand over the bodies of their loved ones to them, moved injured protesters from hospitals to detention facilities, denied them potentially life-saving medical care and in some cases demanded that the families of the victims make payments for the cost of the bullets that killed their loved ones, or compensation for property destroyed during the protests.

Iranian authorities have denied the allegations about demanding money to hand over the bodies of the victims. On November 25 Abbas Masjedi Arani, the head of Iran's Forensics Organization, said the Forensics Organization offers all its services free of charge. "The enemy seeks to create rumors about everything," he claimed.