Amnesty International called on the United Nations Thursday to take “decisive action” on Iran, following the killings of at least eight protesters and mourners Wednesday and Thursday in at least four provinces.

The recent protests began in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested for wearing her headscarf “improperly.”

“The Iranian authorities’ reckless and unlawful use of firearms against protesters, including live ammunition, reveals yet again the tragically high cost of international inaction,” Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.   “All member states of the UN Human Rights Council must take decisive action now and immediately convene a special session on Iran in order to prevent further loss of life.”

Amnesty said that on Wednesday and Thursday, Iran’s security forces “intensified their use of unlawful force — including by shooting firearms with live ammunition, metal pellets and teargas — against protesters and mourners who had gathered in Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah and Lorestan provinces.”

Morayef said, “The UN Human Rights Council must make clear to the Iranian authorities that their crimes under international law will not go uninvestigated — or unpunished — by establishing an independent reporting and accountability mechanism on Iran.”   

“The ongoing failure to enact such mechanism, despite widespread unlawful killings of protesters since the nationwide protests of December 2017-January 2018 is indicative of how such brutal tragedies in Iran,” Morayef said, “have seemingly become normalized. 

She said, “It is long overdue for the international community to hear the cries of victims’ families and human rights defenders for justice.”

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