Amnesty International asserted on Friday that Iran is purposefully deploying fatal force to quell protests that started after Mahsa Amini’s death and warned that additional individuals face detention or death in the absence of international action.
It issued its warning as Iran continued to detain famous personalities, and another rights group reported that 83 people had died in two weeks of protests that began after Amini’s death following her arrest by the morality police.
“The Iranian authorities have mobilized their well-honed machinery of repression to ruthlessly crack down on nationwide protests in an attempt to thwart any challenge to their power,” Amnesty said.
“Without concerted collective action by the international community that goes beyond statements of condemnation, countless more people risk being killed, maimed, tortured, sexually assaulted and thrown behind bars.”
It said its review of photos and videos showed “most victims were killed by security forces firing live ammunition.”
The NGO claimed to have obtained a leaked official document giving orders to “severely confront” demonstrators on September 21 to all military commanders in every province.
Another document that was leaked revealed that on September 23, the military commander of Mazandaran province, the scene of some of the fiercest riots, gave security personnel the order to “confront mercilessly, going as far as causing deaths, any unrest by rioters and anti-revolutionaries.”
Amnesty reported that it had verified 52 deaths during the protests, however, the actual number was probably higher. Iran Human Rights, a different rights organization with offices in Oslo, reported that 83 fatalities have already been positively identified.
The warning comes as Iran continues a crackdown that has seen the arrest of numerous journalists, activists, and other well-known people.
Hossein Manahi, a former Iranian international football player, was detained on Friday after endorsing the demonstrations on social media, according to the official IRNA news agency.
Security authorities also detained Shervin Hajipour, a singer whose song “Baraye” (“For”), which was composed of tweets about the protests, became popular on Instagram, according to Persian-language media from outside Iran and the rights organization Article 19.
His song, which received millions of views on Instagram and garnered numerous comments from people who said it made them cry, has since been taken down from his account.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, based in Washington, at least 29 journalists have been detained as a result of the crackdown.
Among them are two female reporters, Nilufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who helped bring attention to Amini’s situation by covering her hospital and funeral, respectively.