France condemns disproportionate force against protesters in Iran
Iran – Reply by Mme Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, 3 December 2019
Indeed, since mid-November, for several days, Iran has experienced an extremely violent, large-scale protest movement which followed the decision to increase the price of fuel in what we know is a much deteriorated economic situation, linked to geopolitical events on which, as you know, France is extremely committed to finding a way to de-escalate things.
Many people have indeed died. The authorities cracked down on the demonstrations by firing live shots, arrested thousands and cut access to the Internet.
Because Internet networks in the country have been cut, because information is being controlled by the authorities, we don’t, to date, have a clear casualty toll of the crackdown. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated at the end of last week that reports of more than 100 victims were credible, and the NGO Amnesty International is talking about at least 143 deaths.
Through me here, through Jean-Yves Le Drian today in London, and I believe in complete solidarity with all our European partners and the whole government, we obviously strongly condemn the violence and disproportionate use of force used against the demonstrators.
Given the scale of the crackdown, given the credible reports referring to the deaths of many demonstrators, we urge the Iranian authorities – and I do so here very solemnly – to respect the right to peaceful protest, to respect freedom of expression and free access to communication. France urges Iran to abide by its international human rights obligations, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
We aren’t giving up. We’re engaging in firm, demanding dialogue with Iran on geopolitical issues. It’s just as firm and demanding – it’s uncompromising – on human rights issues. Thank you./.