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Iran: Resprisals against Tribunal witnesses

Swedish MP calls for investigation into November 2019 atrocities in Iran

Saturday 2 April 2022, by siawi3

Source: Justice For Iran, April 2, 22

Resprisals against Tribunal witnesses

The biggest and happiest news in the Iranian human rights landscape in the month of March was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori’s release from prison. After more than half a decade, Iranian authorities returned the two back to the UK, something long awaited by the human rights community and their families. It must be said that their release was only the result of debt being paid rather than any regard for human rights. The international community must refrain from encouraging the Iranian government’s habits of using dual nationals as hostages.

We should also echo what Nazanin said in her first public appearance since release, “the meaning of freedom is never going to be complete, until such time that all of us who are unjustly detained,” are released.

Amongst them was Amin Ansarifar, a witness to the Iran Atrocities (Aban) Tribunal on the killing of his son during the November 2019 protests. In the aftermath of the Iran Atrocities (Aban) Tribunal that closed its second session in February, we have been given news of witnesses and their families being harassed, humiliated and persecuted. The families of some witnesses who chose to testify openly are suffering due to arbitrary arrest and detention, violence, unjust prosecution, summoning for coercive interrogations, death threats, and other forms of harassment. These acts of reprisal must be stopped.

As detailed in our previous newsletters, criminal proceedings against Hamid Noury are still ongoing. Noury was arrested in Stockholm in 2019 and is on trial for his role in the 1988 prisons massacre. We are pleased to have contributed to such an important proceeding. On 23rd of March, Shadi Sadr, Justice for Iran’s Executive Director, testified at the 77th session as an expert witness. You can read more about this below.



International community must act: Swedish MP calls for investigation into November 2019 atrocities in Iran

March 15, 2022

A member of Swedish Parliament has issued a statement calling on international actors and Swedish authorities to support the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, also known as Aban Tribunal, and join the fight against impunity in Iran.

In this statement, given subsequent to the second set of hearings, Amina Kakabaveh urged the international community to tackle the case of rampant impunity in Iran.

“It is the lack of accountability and inaction that have allowed such violations to take place without any consequences. The international community has failed to give victims redress for what they were unjustly made to suffer,” Ms Kakabaveh said in this statement.

Pointing to the lack of action taken by the international community and governments in the over two years since the atrocities in Iran, she asked of UN member states to encourage an independent investigative body established by the UN Human Rights Council and to utilise accountability mechanisms.

The same sentiment was expressed by Lord Alton of Liverpool, a member of the UK House of Lords, after the first set of Tribunal hearings in November 2020, where he called on the UK government to act on their responsibility towards ensuring human rights are kept.

The November 2019 protests broke out in reaction to a rise in fuel prices. During the week that followed, hundreds, if not thousands, were killed, thousands more injured and an insurmountable number were detained and tortured. Though the protests were peaceful, security forces acted out in violence, using assault weapons and other lethal and non-lethal methods of repression.

The first public call for witnesses to come forward was made in November 2020; so far, over 400 witnesses have given their statements and a fraction of them have testified before the panel. The witnesses consist of families of killed victims, those who were injured or detained, bystanders, medical and government officials (former and current).