UN urges Iran restraint

19/11/2019 - 16:36 Published in News/General

The United Nations has called for Iranian authorities to rein in the use of force to disperse protests sparked by a fuel price rise, as Iranian media reported that three members of the country's security forces were stabbed to death by "rioters".

In comments made to reporters in Geneva on Tuesday, Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN's high commissioner for human rights, said the body had received reports that dozens of people were killed during the demonstrations. Describing the extent of the reported casualties as "clearly very serious", Colville called on authorities to uphold the demonstrators' rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

His comments came a day after the semi-official ISNA news agency reported late on Monday that three members of Iran's security forces were killed by "rioters" near the capital, Tehran.

The report brought the number of people killed during protests against fuel price rise to at least 11 - five security forces and six civilians - according to figures collated by Al Jazeera.

ISNA said the three people killed were stabbed by assailants on the outskirts of Tehran. One of the three was identified as Morteza Ebrahimi, a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The other two were Majid Sheikhi, 22, and Mostafa Rezaie, 33. Both served in the Basij militia, a volunteer force loyal to the establishment.