On Monday 20 March 2023, Every Casualty Counts and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran submitted a statement to the UN Special Rapporteur, at the Human Rights Council’s 52nd Session in Geneva.
The intervention drew attention to efforts to silence the families of victims of state violence, and obstruct the accurate and transparent recording of casualties.
Every Casualty Counts and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran note that the Islamic Republic of Iran has long denied access to the Special Rapporteur, as well as other independent observers, investigating allegations of violations of the right to life. These violations include unlawful and excessive use of force against protesters.
Since September 2022, hundreds of individuals have been killed in violence related to public demonstrations and protests. Relatives of those killed have been threatened and pressured by state officials to remain silent or to report that their loved one’s death was caused by other protestors or natural causes. State authorities have also persecuted witnesses, lawyers, and medical professionals for reporting and documenting unlawful and arbitrary killings of protesters.
As the Iranian government seeks to prevent the number and identity of those killed from being publicly known, how does your mandate endeavour to document these casualties comprehensively and accurately? What more could the international community do to support these efforts?