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Human Rights-Activists: What Governments can Do Now to Increase International Costs on Iran

More than four months into the Islamic Republic’s violent suppression of nationwide protests in Iran, in which hundreds have been killed in the streets by state security forces and scores sentenced to death, governments worldwide can and must take urgent actions to signal to the authorities in Iran that their violent repression will carry onerous costs, states a new policy briefing released today by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“Young women and men have been slaughtered by the hundreds for peacefully protesting the Islamic Republic’s repression,” said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. “The international community must use every tool at its disposal to change the Iranian authorities’ calculation that they can violently crush dissent in the country at little cost.”

The new 8-page briefing, „Recommendations for the International Community on Iran: Imposing Costs on the Islamic Republic for Its Human Rights Atrocities“, provides actionable recommendations for governments around the world, including:

  • Recall ambassadors from the Islamic Republic in protest.

  • Summon Iranian ambassadors to demand a cessation of executions, death sentences and violence against protesters, and the release of all detainees.

  • Designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its subsidiary forces as terrorist organizations.

  • Expand human rights sanctions against Iranian officials and entities associated with rights violations, and freeze the assets of human rights violators.

  • “Adopt” individual detained protesters or political prisoners, especially those facing execution, to publicize their cases and demand their release.

  • Suspend negotiations to restore the nuclear deal with Iran; in its current form, the resulting release of oil revenues and frozen assets would bolster the regime’s repressive capabilities.

  • Urge multilateral bodies, NGOs, professional associations, labor organizations, and cultural and sports associations to expel the Islamic Republic.

  • Urge tech companies to make communication tools available to the people of Iran and provide funding to make them free.

  • Expedite asylum cases and provide tangible assistance for Iranians fleeing persecution.

  • Sponsor multilateral resolutions to condemn the Iranian government’s violent repression.

Since September 2022, state security forces have killed at least 527 protesters, including at least 71 children, according to the Human Rights Activists New Agency. Dozens have been sentenced to death or are facing charges that could carry the death penalty; four young men have already been executed without due process. At least 20,000 protesters have been arrested, and detained women are being subjected to sexual violence while in state custody.

“There are concrete actions governments around the world can take to increase the costs on the Islamic Republic of their violent repression,” said Ghaemi. “Without them, it will continue to gun down, execute, and violate the rights of the people of Iran at will.”


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