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Iran: UN must act now after brutal killings of eight protesters in less than 24 hours

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Thousands of people gathered across the country to mark the 40th day after Mahsa Amini’s death in custody 

Security forces fired metal pellets and teargas to disperse the crowds, injuring several people and killing eight

‘These brutal tragedies in Iran have seemingly become normalised - Heba Morayef

Responding to the unlawful killings of at least eight people by Iran’s security forces as they again opened fire on mourners and protesters in at least four provinces, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

"The Iranian authorities’ reckless and unlawful use of firearms against protesters, including live ammunition, reveals yet again the tragically high cost of international inaction. These brutal tragedies in Iran have seemingly become normalised. 

All member states of the UN Human Rights Council must take decisive action now and immediately convene a special session on Iran to prevent further loss of life. They must make clear to the Iranian authorities that their crimes under international law will not go uninvestigated  or unpunished.

Failure to act decisively will only embolden the Iranian authorities to further crackdown against mourners and protesters set to gather and mark 40 days since the first deaths of protesters after the deadly repression began in mid-September.

It is long overdue for the international community to hear the cries of victims’ families and human rights defenders for justice.”

Brutal killings of protesters this week

Iran’s security forces intensified their use of unlawful force  including by shooting firearms with live ammunition, metal pellets and teargas  against protesters and mourners who had gathered in Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah and Lorestan provinces.

On 26 October, thousands of people gathered in Saqqez, Kurdistan province, to mark the 40th day after Mahsa Amini’s death in custody on 16 September. Security forces fired metal pellets and teargas to disperse the crowds, injuring several people.

Iran’s security forces also unlawfully used firearms against demonstrators today in Mahabad, Wester Azerbaijan province, where thousands had gathered to protest the killing of Esmail Moloudi, a protester who was shot dead in the city by security forces on 27 October. As a result, a woman, Kobra Sheikheh, and two men Zaniar Aboubekri and Shahou Khezri were killed.

In the evening of 26 October, security forces killed Mohammad Shariati and Afshin Asham in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, and Ghasreshirin, Kermanshah province, respectively, during protests.

At least one protester was also killed today in Baneh, Kurdistan province. Amnesty is seeking to verify his name.

Yesterday, UN experts, including the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, called on the Human Rights Council to urgently take action, including by establishing an international mechanism on Iran during a special session. 

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