Kurds injured in Iran’s protests refrained from seeking treatment for fear of torture: Amnesty

File – Iranian riot police gather in Naqadeh city where Kurds protest against the killing of a man (Photo: Iran International)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Amnesty International said Kurdish people injured in protests in Iran’s Naqadeh city earlier this month had refrained from seeking treatment in hospitals for fear of arrest and torture.

Iranian security forces restored to unlawful use of force including birdshot and mass arrests to “ruthlessly” crack down on peaceful protests that had erupted in Naqadeh city on August 7, according to Amnesty.

Amnesty cited witnesses as saying that most of those injured during the protests had refrained from “seeking hospital treatment for fear of arrest, torture and other ill-treatment”.

“The Iranian authorities have yet again given their security forces free rein to inflict severe bodily injury on protesters to maintain their iron grip on power and crush dissent,” said Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The fact that those injured are risking their lives and health by not seeking medical care in hospital due to fear of arbitrary arrest speaks volumes about the authorities’ cruel methods of torture and other ill-treatment used against arrested protesters,” Eltahawy added.

“It is high time the international community takes concrete action over the Iranian government’s repeated deadly deployment of unlawful force with impunity against protesters, including by supporting the establishment of an investigative and accountability mechanism at the UN Human Rights Council to collect evidence of crimes under international law and facilitate independent criminal proceedings.”

A man was killed and dozens of others were injured during the protests on August 7, according to Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM).

The HRM said the demonstrations broke out after a 31-year-old man was killed by “thugs” in the city. Dozens of protesters were summoned and interrogated by the security forces.

The rights organization further said the security forces also fired tear gas and beat peaceful protesters with batons in the city.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately end this ongoing wave of arbitrary arrests and detentions, release all those detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protect all detainees from torture and other ill-treatment,” she said.

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