British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) strongly condemns the Iranian regime for its massive crackdown on the protests going on across Iran that began with public grievances over the government’s decision to increase the price of petrol on 15 November.
We also condemn the Iranian authorities for the near complete internet shutdown for over a week, cutting off the entire country from the outside world and paving the way for its security organs and the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to brutally crush the peaceful protests.
Despite the attempted censorship, credible reports mention anti-regime demonstrations in at least 165 cities across the country during a week of protests and place the number of protesters killed by security organs to over 400 while over 10,000 have been arrested and 4000 wounded in 173 cities. In an alarming move, the protesters are now threatened with execution by hanging by the state media, senior regime officials and Judiciary.
BCFIF extends its deepest condolences to the victims’ families and admires the brave people of Iran who are demanding increased rights, freedoms and a better future despite these killings, mass arrests and internet shutdown by the regime.
The world is hearing the chants of “Down with Dictator” and the popular demands for lasting change. Many in the international community recognise the active participation of women in these protests and stand in solidarity with the people of Iran as they exercise their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and protests for liberty and a better future.
We also note the many public statements by senior regime officials including the Supreme Leader and his representatives acknowledging and decrying the role of Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and its network inside the country for being behind and organising the ongoing protests against the regime.
Today, the regime in Iran is using the country’s entire resources, power and privileges to attack the defenceless citizens who take part in the popular protests and violently suppress their legitimate demands for change.
The international community must not be silent and paralysed in face of the widespread and state-sanctioned crackdown. The United Nations must put political expediency aside and impose sanctions on those Iranian regime's officials and leaders responsible for the recent bloody crackdown and internet shutdown, who do not regret their unacceptable actions but publicly defend them as necessary to preserve “national security”.
British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) calls on the UK Government to join our allies in strongly condemning the regime’s crackdown and to stand with the Iranian people as they protest for liberty, democracy, human rights and a better future.
We also support the call by the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs Maryam Rajavi, for the United Nations to “immediately dispatch investigative missions to Iran to evaluate the number of those killed, injured and imprisoned” and to convene “an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crackdown in Iran and appropriate measures to hold those officials responsible to account.”
We urge the UK Government to work with allies at the UN and EU to secure these measures to end the culture of impunity in Iran. In the immediate, UK must work with allies in the international community to pressure the Iranian regime to restore full access to the internet and to take collective actions to help the Iranian people counter the internet shutdown.
Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool
British Committee for Iran Freedom
26 November 2019