CODIR PRESS RELEASE – Wednesday 20 November 2019 – Urgent Appeal for Solidarity

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has appealed to progressive and freedom-seeking people and their organisations globally to put pressure on the Iranian regime to halt the violence perpetrated during recent days against peaceful demonstrators demanding a reversal of the massive hike in petrol prices announced without warning last Friday.  Petrol prices were put up by as much as 300% without any warning and mass demonstrations immediately erupted in 23 out of Iran’s 31 provinces.

Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR, said, “Peaceful protests have been met with extreme and systematic violence from the police and security services.  According to the latest reports being smuggled out of Iran, hundreds are dead and thousands have been wounded in a brutal crackdown by the authorities.  Many people are missing and there has been no official confirmation of the names of those killed, amidst a complete news blackout and internet shutdown effectively cutting off 80 million people from the outside world.  In short, the country is in lockdown.  Hospitals are reporting that the majority of deaths and injuries are from gunshot wounds to the head and upper torso, substantiating widespread fears that the regime is operating a ‘shoot to kill’ policy.”

Reports are emerging that on Sunday 17 November, Ali Khamenei, the regime’s Supreme Leader, issued clear instructions that the protest movement must be crushed at whatever cost.  The security forces and their Basij militia auxiliaries seem to have taken this as their green light and moved accordingly.

The critical situation has given rise to international concern at the highest levels. Rupert Colville, the spokesperson of  Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated on Tuesday 19th November:  “We are deeply concerned by reported violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, including the firing of live ammunition, against demonstrators in Iran”, He further stated: “It would suggest that it is not simply the immediate trigger to the protest which was a rise in fuel prices, but…much deeper-seated problems persisting in the country.”

At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed, according to credible reports received by Amnesty International. The organization believes that the real death toll may be much higher, with some reports suggesting that as many as 200 have been killed.

The Iranian authorities have warned that those responsible for sending reports and footage of the situation inside the country will be traced, arrested and charged on national security and treason grounds. Those found guilty of these charges receive long jail terms or are executed.

In a fevered attempt to prevent details reaching the outside world, the regime has shut down the country’s internet – a situation which has continued since the weekend and no small feat in a country like Iran – and phone lines are being monitored by the security forces.

CODIR is therefore calling on individuals and organisations to:

  • Show their solidarity with the Iranian people in this dark period of repression,
  • Call upon the Iranian government to allow the detained access to medical personnel and treatment and to legal representation,
  • Demand that the Iranian government release immediately all protesters detained since Friday 15 November 2019,
  • Demand that the Iranian government account for the violence towards the protesters – particularly the actioning of ‘shoot to kill’ orders, and the source of these orders,
  • Demand that the Iranian government release accurate figures for the numbers of protesters killed, injured and detained over the last few days and their identities,
  • Issue a statement of support for the protesters and the long-suffering people of Iran in their struggle for peace, human and democratic rights, and social justice.

CODIR’s Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi, has emphasised: “All of the above are extremely urgent.  The people of Iran need your support and they need it now.”


For further information, please contact CODIR at:





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