An officer of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards says about 850 people were killed in two provinces alone in the first two days of the bloody November 2019 protests.
During the Sunday session of the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, underway behind closed doors in London, “witness 600”, who identified himself as a former senior IRGC officer, claimed that 427 people were killed in Khuzestan province and 420 in Tehran during the crackdown, adding that about 8,000 people were also arrested in the capital.
Earlier estimates ranged from 300-1,500 civilians killed nationwide. The new figure offered by the witness would mean that overall death toll was much higher.
“We were losing Tehran and Vahid Haghanian (supreme leader’s chief personal aide) from Khamenei's office ordered us to do whatever is necessary to end the chaos”, he said. Reuters had reported in December 2019 that the order to end protests at any cost had come from Khamenei.
He added that Basij paramilitary forces were also allowed to fire directly at people, noting they “fired the most and killed the most".
He said this crackdown was the only case in which military forces were not required to report on how many times or where they fired.
The tribunal − also known as Aban Tribunal after the Iranian calendar month of Aban − was established on the first anniversary of the 2019 protests by several human rights groups.