At least 7,000 people have been arrested in Iran since protests broke out in mid-last month, the United Nations said on Friday, calling for the immediate and arbitrary release of detainees.
According to the channel “France 24”, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in a statement also, it obtained a video verified, showing security forces shooting at the demonstrators apparently intent on killing.
UNHCR said it had information indicating that at least 208 people had been killed during the unrest, supporting the death toll already provided by Amnesty International.
“There are also reports that the UN Human Rights Commission has not been able to verify so far, indicating that more than twice that number has been killed”, it said.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the video obtained by her office showed “the use of severe violence against protesters”.
Bachelet said, we also received footage that appears to show security forces firing at unarmed protesters from behind while fleeing and shooting directly at the face and vital organs, in other words firing to kill them.
The commissioner pointed to video material showing armed members of the security forces firing from the roof of the Justice Ministry building in Guanrod city in Kermanshah province in western Tehran, as well as helicopter gunships in Sadra city in Fars province.
Public protests have erupted across the country since Nov. 15 after authorities suddenly raised the price of gasoline by up to 200 percent.
Officials in Iran did not announce the death toll of the protests, which saw highways closed, banks and police stations set on fire and shops looted.
Bachelet said many of the arrested demonstrators were unable to contact a lawyer, while warning of reports of overcrowding and harsh conditions in detention centers, which in some cities include military barracks, sports facilities and schools.
Bachelet said I urge the authorities to immediately release all protesters who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty.
Iran has blamed the violence on “thugs” backed by arch-foes the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
She also accused the exiled monarchists and the People’s Mujaheddin of Iran (PMOI), a former exile rebel group that Tehran considers a “terrorist” group, of being behind the violence. Tehran has dismissed human rights reports as “pure lies”.