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UN Special Rapporteur On Iran Human Rights Says Shocked By Violence Against Protesters

Javaid Rehman is a British-Pakistani legal scholar and Professor of Islamic Law and International Law at Brunel University and the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In his third report to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Special Rapporteur Javaid Rehman has said that he is alarmed and shocked by the violence used against protesters in Iran during the November 209 civil unrest.

"The Special Rapporteur expresses his shock at the unprecedented use of excessive and lethal force by State security forces during the November 2019 protests, including by the police, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Basij militia," the report said, adding that according to credible sources, at least 304 people were killed between November 15-19 in 37 cities, including 23 children and 10 women.

In his report, Rehman stressed that security forces shot to kill, aiming at protesters' heads, neck and chest at least in 112 cases.

"The pattern of shooting at vital organs, established by eyewitness accounts, video footage and the documented causes of deaths, demonstrates that security forces were ‘shooting to kill’ or with reckless disregard as to whether their actions caused death," Rehman said in the report.

Rehman also criticized Iranian authorities for not announcing official death and injury figures, and said that the real death toll of the November protests may be much higher than the 304 that Amnesty International has been able to confirm.

In a report in December 2019, Reuters quoted sources close to Khamenei's inner circle who claimed that 1,500 Iranians had been killed in the protests, based on information gathered from security forces, morgues, hospitals and coroner’s offices. At the time, Khamenei allegedly told the security forces in a public meeting to "do whatever is necessary to stop" the protests, the sources said.

On May 30, 2020, nearly seven months after the protests, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said for the first time that the death toll numbered around 200. On June 1, Mojtaba Zolnur (Zonnouri), the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the previous parliament, claimed the death toll for the November protests at 230 people.

In the report, Rehman also said that detained protesters faced torture and brutal treatment, with some receiving harsh sentences, including the death penalty, after unfair trials.