Geneva: The United Nations on Friday condemned Iran s deadly use of force against unarmed fuel couriers and Baluch minority protesters, calling for full investigations into the deaths of all those killed.
The United Nations Office of Human Rights (OHCHR) said it regrets the apparently systematic use of lethal force by Iranian border officials.
“In Iran, we condemn use of force violations in recent weeks by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and state security forces against unarmed fuel couriers and protesters belonging to the Baluch minority, which has reportedly led to the killing of at least 12 individuals, including at least two minors,” OHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
He said that on February 22, the IRGC was alleged to have shot and killed at least 10 fuel couriers in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province at the Pakistani border, following a two-day stand-off triggered by the IRGC blocking the road to Saravan.
Those killings triggered demonstrations in cities across the province, “during which the IRGC and security forces fired lethal ammunition at protesters and bystanders, leading to the killing of at least two more people and serious injuries to several dozen others”, said Colville.
He added that local authorities reported that another policeman died during the protests in Kolin.
According to some estimates, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights could not confirm that a total of 23 people may have been killed.
Internet shutdowns across the province, “with the apparent purpose of preventing access to information about what is happening… constitute a violation of international human rights law”, said Colville, as he called on the authorities to restore access.