Human Rights Watch says Iran’s regime has used excessive and lethal force in the clampdown on nationwide protests that broke out in September 2022.
In its World Report 2023 published Thursday, Human Rights Watch said Iranian authorities have detained hundreds of activists on “dubious charges” and issued death sentences in “grossly unfair trials”.
The acting executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Tirana Hassan announced in the report that the protests against the mandatory use of the hijab are just the most visible symbol of repression.
"The demand for equality triggered by women and schoolgirls has morphed into a nationwide movement by the Iranian people against a government that has systematically denied them their rights, mismanaged the economy, and driven people into poverty," she underlined.
The 712-page report looks at the state of human rights in about 100 countries where the organization works.
The death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police in mid-September sparked nationwide demonstrations, including in schools and universities.
Human Rights Watch says security forces have used shotguns, assault rifles, and handguns against protesters.
“With mass repression, unfree elections, and apparent corruption and mismanagement, Iran’s autocracy rules with all that remains: brute force,” said Tara Sepehri Far, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“Other countries, including from the Global South, should increase pressure on these brutal authorities and ensure there is accountability for their crimes,” she added.
Over 500 people have been killed by the regime forces since the beginning of protests.