#IranProtests: Seek justice for thousands of victims and deter state violence in Iran
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On November 16, 2019 Pouya Bakhtiari died in his mother’s arms. He was shot in the head, in cold blood in front of her eyes during anti-government demonstrations in Karaj that swept through Iran in mid-November.
His only crime was exercising his right to freedom of expression. Over the past decade, a number of anti-government protests have broken out throughout Iran demanding an end to the Islamic Republic regime in Iran. However, the Islamic Republic Guard Corp “IRGC” and police always suppress mass protests by violent means, which resulted in thousands of protesters like Pouya being killed at the hands of the government. It is challenging to keep a track of all the victims’ names, but not for want of trying, because they are in the thousands.
Pouya's murder has become the face and symbol of freedom for Iranians and for people around the world, much like Neda Agha Soltan’s assassination in cold blood in the 2009 protests. There are many Pouyas and Nedas that have been silenced for simply standing up for their basic human rights since the inception of the tyrannical Islamic Republic 41 years ago. To add insult to the heartbreak of having lost their sons and daughters, families are not permitted to hold funerals or mourn the death of their loved ones.
Not only have there been hundreds of reports of authorities refusing to return the bodies of protesters, but also families are intimidated by authorities to not hold funerals and are arrested if they ignore these inhumane orders. Much the same harassment that Neda’s family received, the police brutally arrested and detained Pouya’s grieving family Manoucher Bakhtiari, Pouya's father, along with Pouya’s mother, sister, brother-in-law, elderly grandparents, three uncles and an 11-year-old cousin. This kind of brutal onslaught further demonstrates the depravity of the Islamic Republic regime and the measures it is willing to take in order to crack down on dissent to remain in power at any cost. They do so without fear of any repercussion or accountability from the international community.
Manoucher Bakhtiari has made an appeal to the world community to stand in solidarity with him to seek justice for his innocent son Pouya and all the innocent Iranian victims who have been murdered at the hands of the tyrannical Islamic Republic in Iran.
Iran is a signatory of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and it has ignored the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Despite having ratified these international treaties, Iran continues to be widely criticized for human rights violations, including the ongoing execution of political dissidents who have simply stood up against severe restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of assembly, freedom of speech, women’s rights, press association and limitations in free and fair elections.
It is time for the international community to stand together with the Iranian people and hold the regime accountable.
- We, the undersigned organizations and individuals strongly support Manoucher Bakhtiari’s demand and hold the Islamic Republic in Iran accountable.
- We welcome and encourage the United Nations Human Rights Council to further its efforts in assisting Iranians to seek justice, and ask all UN member states to place pressure on the Iranian government.
- We ask that the members of the UN General Assembly to condemn Iran’s human rights violations.
- We ask you to support initiatives to broaden international consensus against Iran’s ongoing repression, attempts to stifle freedom of expression, and denial of other human rights of its citizens.
- We remain committed to helping the Iranian people, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation, to hold their government accountable so that all Iranians could enjoy the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms they deserve. Your support and actions can empower tens of millions of anti-regime citizens of Iran to actively seek freedom, democracy, and socio-economic welfare.
- We, the undersigned, request that the United Nations Human Rights Council to recognize that the Islamic Republic in Iran has consistently violated the innocent Iranians’ fundamental human rights, thus ignoring all International Bill of Rights.
In a commitment to promoting the protection of human rights and the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we ask that you investigate these allegations of serious breaches of human rights and violations of international laws. The Iranian people need and deserve the support of the international community.
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