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Iran Offers Families Of Protesters Killed In November Money Instead Of Justice

Iran anti-government protests of November 2019
Iran anti-government protests of November 2019

A London-based Human Rights Organization in a report published on Saturday says Iranian authorities have pressured the families of those killed during the November 2019 protests to settle for proposals of money and "martyrdom".

The statement published by Justice for Iran maintains that in line with the Supreme Leader's approved policy, the authorities have refused to initiate judicial investigations or criminal proceeding regarding the killing of protesters.

A triple price rise for gasoline on November 15 sparked massive protests across Iran that lasted for five days during which anti-riot police and other security forces used lethal force including live ammunition to suppress the protesters.

Hundreds of protesters were killed and thousands were arrested during the protests but the Iranian regime claims that the victims were killed by suspicious elements among the protesters and it had to use lethal force only when the protesters damaged public property and threatened the safety and lives of other people.

A Reuters report published on December 23 said sources in Iran had confirmed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had issued the order "to do whatever it takes" to stop the protesters. According to the same report the death toll of the protests – which the Iranian authorities have never revealed – was as high as 1,500.

Khamenei later agreed with the proposal of Ali Shamkhani, the Chairman of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), to divide the victims into bystanders, protestors, and armed rioters and to treat their cases on the same basis.

According to this state policy, the victims in the group of bystanders are recognized as "martyrs" and their families will receive blood money as well as a monthly allowance while the families of the protesters killed by the security forces will only receive the blood money. The families of the protesters categorized as "armed rioters" will only be consoled for the death of their loved ones if they are found to be decent and respectful.

So far the Iranian justice system has taken no steps towards identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators of the killings. According to Justice for Iran, none of the 23 families that have filed formal complaints asking for an investigation into the death of their loved ones has been able to put criminal proceedings into motion.