Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ayubi

About

Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim

Case

Date of Killing: November 16, 2019
Location: Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Arbitrary execution
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

On the basis of available evidence and witness accounts, Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran (ABC) believes that Ms./ Mr. Ayubi was the subject of an arbitrary execution by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran during the crackdown on protests occasioned by an increase in gas prices in November 2019. Given ABC’s obligation to document the truth, ABC researchers are working to investigate and complete this case by obtaining new, documentable information, evaluating information obtained so far, and bringing to light further details regarding the course of events. If you have information regarding the case of Ms./ Mr. Ayubi or have witnessed events in the area where he was killed, please help us complete this case by filling out an electronic form or contacting us by email, phone, or on social media.

Background

Just before midnight on November 14, 2019, the Iranian government announced a sharp increase in the price of gasoline (50% for subsidized gas and 200% for unsubsidized gas). The announcement led to countrywide protests starting on November 15. Based on available reports and video footage, non-violent protesters gathered in public places, blocked some roads and created traffic jams while chanting anti-government slogans on November 15 and 16. They called on fellow citizens to turn off their cars or chanted anti-regime slogans* in scores of cities and localities. By the evening of November 16, banks were reportedly set on fire in some areas and shooting was heard in some videos. The same evening, Iran imposed a countrywide information blackout by cutting off citizens’ access to the world web for at least ten days, undermining protesters’ ability to organize or to report on the state’s brutal response to their protest.** 

Iranian authorities’ response to unarmed protesters was swift, disproportionate, and deadly. Accusatory statements of the Islamic Republic’s leaders as early as November 16 indicated their lack of tolerance for citizens’ public expression of grievances. Protesters were accused of “evildoing” and having links to forces outside the country and were warned of harsh punishment for damaging properties. The first casualty was reported on November 15. On the second day of the protests, casualties increased with deadly shootings by the security forces in several cities. In videos sent from Iran, security forces can be seen using firearms and aiming at protesters in circumstances that do not appear to be life threatening. Plainclothes militias can also be seen beating and arresting protesters. In some cases, protesters blocked roads or gathered in front of police stations and government buildings, or chased security forces away with stones. Banks and other public structures in several provinces were burned, apparently by angry protesters, and security forces can be seen in videos damaging properties. The protest, which spread to scores of cities (120), roads and localities outside urban areas was quashed within a few days.

At the time of this writing, The exact number of casualties remains unknown. In most cases, the authorities took dead and injured protesters away. In an effort to conceal the truth, authorities made families commit to silence in return for their loved ones’ bodies, forced some to bury them at night under security agent control, and asked others to pay various sums of money. On December 2, 2019, Amnesty International reported at least 208 deaths. Many protesters were shot in the head and hundreds more were injured and many are not accounted for. Iran acknowledged the death of five members of the security forces. According to one parliamentarian, at least 7,000 were arrested during and in the aftermath of the protest. The lack of transparency on arrests, official reports about detainees’ self-incriminating “confessions” in the immediate aftermath of the protests, and reports from overcrowded prisons and detention centers raised serious concerns about the safety of detainees.

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* Slogans included: “We are just tired,” “What a mistake we made with the revolution,” “Reza Shah, may your soul rest in peace,” ”Death to the dictator,” “We will get our rights, we will not accept indignity,” “How long should the money of Iranians go to Gaza and Lebanon’s pockets?,” and “We are people, not hooligans. Gas should be cheaper”
** Internet access for homes was partially restored in most provinces (except in Khuzestan and Sistan and Baluchestan) but citizens had no access to the world web through mobile phones until early December 2019. Phone services and national Internet, which can be more easily controlled by the state, allowed communications throughout this period.

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