Victims of November 2019 protests call for concrete action ahead of the anniversary

Victims of November 2019 protests call for concrete action ahead of the anniversary

NOVEMBER 15, 2019: A sudden and substantial hike in the cost of fuel sparks unrest across Iran. Individuals across the country pour into the streets in what soon became mass protests covering a reported 104 cities across Iran.


As the anniversary of the November protests approaches, HRA has spoken with Iranians calling for concrete action against those responsible for violent crackdowns against protesters including arbitrary and incommunicado detention, illegal use of force, and torture among other serious violations. For nearly two years, perpetrators have, for the most part, enjoyed widespread impunity. Domestically, some have even seemingly been rewarded. Indeed, individuals such as now-President Ebrahim Raisi, a known and serious violator, have risen to top positions of power. 

Soheila, a 45-year-old mother whose son was shot in the November 2019 protests, highlights the shortcomings of the judiciary in Iran, telling HRA, “I hope that accountability will mean that next time, my child, instead of taking to the streets, can work through established pathways to hold corrupt people accountable for their actions.”

November 2019 saw the deaths of several hundred Iranians  (227 were verified by HRA) in what is arguably a state-sanctioned arbitrary deprivation of life. In addition over 7,100 were arbitrarily detained, some remain detained today. Although the violations noted above have been extensively documented, little has been done to hold perpetrators accountable. 

Figure 1: reported November 2019 protest points -black denotes locations where the killing of protester(s) was reported  (Human Rights Activists in Iran)

Elika, 25, told HRA, “Without accountability for violations that occurred in November 2019, the cycle of repression and violence will not end. Those that intend to perpetrate future abuse [on us] need to see accountability. Maybe then they will take a moment to think before pulling the trigger.”  In a recent post in the Atlantic Council IranSource blog, Skylar Thompson, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator, stated similarly, “Without concrete action to fight the plague of impunity that covers Iran, these violent events will only continue to occur and the Iranian people will continue to suffer.”

Iran has proven unwilling to investigate and prosecute those responsible through domestic judicial frameworks. The unwillingness is paired with the fact that Iran’s judiciary is in no way impartial and is in fact led by the very perpetrators responsible for the noted violations. Unfortunately, violations of fair trial standards have become the status quo. 

When asked what accountability looks like to him, Hafez, 22, told HRA, “They should handcuff the perpetrators. […]. They should be prosecuted in a public court and imprisoned.” He continued, “Once handcuffed, perpetrators should have to look the victim’s mother in the face to calm her heart.” Nazanin, 32, told HRA that accountability, in her view “is [the Islamic Republic] honestly and openly admitting wrongdoing.” 

HRA has identified 54 individual and seven institutional violators connected to the November 2019 protests. It Is noteworthy that a number of those violators have also been complicit in numerous additional acts of repression against protesters including in 1988, 2020 (protests over the shooting down of Ukrainian airliner), 2021 (protests over resource mismanagement in Khuzestan), and many instances in between. This repeated action is a direct consequence of the lack of accountability. 

The following section lists notable individuals documented by HRA as responsible for repeated serious and widespread rights violations. Extensive and credible documentation is readily available. HRA calls on the international community to hear the pleas of Iranians like Hafez, Nazanin, and Elika and utilize available documentation to take concrete action against those responsible. 

*For a more in-depth look at the listed violators select a name and be directed to a violator profile that includes several data points including an overview of violations, employment history, as well as additional evidentiary documentation. 

 

Government 

Mojtaba Raei

Special Governor, Najafabad City of Isfahan Province

Deputy Governor of Isfahan

Roham Bakhsh Habibi

The police commander of Fars Province

Lotfollah Dezhkam 

Representative of the Supreme Leader, Fars Province 

Friday Imam of Shiraz

Leila Vaseghi
Governor of Quds City

Jamal Alami Nisi
Governor of Ahvaz 

Chairman of the Ahvaz City Security Council

Masoumeh Khanfari
Governor of Karoun City

Nik-Mohammad Balouch-Zehi
Director-General, Information and Communications Technology Department of Sistan and Baluchestan Province

Seyed-Vahid Haghanian aka “Vahid” or “Sardar (General) Vahid” 

Executive and Special Affairs Deputy of the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader’s office

Saeed Jalili
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council

Police 

Ali-akbar Javidan

Kermanshah Police Chief

Hossein Rahimi
Head of Tehran Police Forces

Hossein AshtariFard

Commander of the police force of the Islamic Republic

Gholamreza Jafari

From November 12, 2019, to now: Commander of the Hormozgan Police Force 

Hassan Karami
Command of the Special Unit of the Police Force

Mohammad-Hossein Babakalani
Retired Police Force

Saeed Motaharizadeh 

North Khorasan Police Chief

Reza Papey
The police commander of Mahshahr City

Abdolreza Nazeri
Commander of the Kerman Police Force

Ruhollah Geravandi
Dezful Police Commander

Manouchehr Amanollahi 

Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Police Commander 

IRGC

Kioumars Heydari

Brigadier General IRGC

Hossein Taeb

Former Head of the IRGC Intelligence Organization

Hassan Shahvarpour
Commander of the Khuzestan Provincial IRGC force (Valiasr IRGC base)

Masoud Khorramnia
Second Brigadier General (IRGC) 

Commander-in-chief of West Azerbaijan province

Mohammad-Esmaeil Kowsari
Senior Commander, IRGC

Hossein Salami

Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC

Mohammad-Reza Yazdi

Senior Commander of IRGC 

Gholamreza Soleimani Farsani
Commander of Sahib al-Zaman IRGC in Isfahan province

Gholam-hossein Gheibparvar
Commander of the Basij

Deputy Commander of the IRGC, Imam Ali’s HQ

Mousa Ghazanfar-Abadi
The former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunals of Tehran

Judiciary 

Heydar Asiabi

Senior Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Alireza Aghajari
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Pardis city, the former prosecutor of Mahshahr city

Peyman Samadi

Prisoner Supervisor in Ward 9, Evin Prison 

Deputy Director of the 2nd Brigade in Fashafoyeh Prison

Mehdi Mohammadi

Deputy Prosecutor of Boroujerd

Hamid Golinejad
Head of Branch 101 of the 2nd Criminal Court of Urmia

Ali Esfahani
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Isfahan Province

Ali Zare
General and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Najafabad city in Isfahan province

Yahya Jafari 

Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Mohammad-javad Heshmati Mohazzab

Senior Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Mohammad-Hossein Sadeghi 

Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Kermanshah Province

Hamid Mohammadi
Head of Evin Prison 

Mansour Mohammadi Khabbaz
The public and revolutionary prosecutor of Dezful

Abbas Hosseini-Pouya 

Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Khuzestan Province

Hamid Asgaripour
Shahriar County Public Prosecutor and Revolution

Mahamad-Reza Amouzad Khalili
Judge

Head of Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Seyed-Ahmad Zargar
Judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran

Iman Afshari
Judge 

Head of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Mohammad Mahdi Mahmoodi
Deputy Chief Justice of the General and Revolutionary Courts of Shiraz

Head of the 2nd Criminal Court

Judge of Branch 101 of the 2nd Criminal Court of Shiraz

Ali Alghasi-Mehr
The general prosecutor of Tehran

Media 

Hossein Shariatmadari
Kayhan Institute

Abdolali Ali-Asgari
Head of the Islamic Republic Broadcasting Organization (IRIB)

Ameneh-Sadat Zabihpour
Interrogator-Reporter 

For media inquiries contact HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator, Skylar Thompson [email protected]