Iran accused of causing widespread blindness among protesters, particularly women activists

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Iranian security forces have caused widespread blindness among protesters, particularly women activists, according to a report by Iran Human Rights Organization (IHRNGO), despite killing hundreds during the protests.

According to the report, Iranian security forces have “systematically” shot protesters in the eyes during the nationwide anti-government demonstrations.

“Iran Human Rights considers the inhumane and unlawful act to have been systematically carried out by the Islamic Republic to crush protests,” the report added.

The IHRNGO documented the cases of 22 individuals who suffered the loss of one or both eyes. One such victim is Raheleh Amiri, a 30-year-old psychologist, who was shot with pellet bullets by security forces in November and lost an eye due to the severe injuries she sustained.

Credit: Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO)
Credit: Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO)

Elaheh Tavakolian, a PhD student originally from Mashhad, suffered the loss of one of her eyes in October after being shot by security forces during a demonstration.

A total of 580 people have suffered eye injuries, according to the New York Times, citing three ophthalmologists in Tehran and several others in Khorasan province, with over 80 being treated in Kurdistan province.

 Additionally, the NGO is asking Iranian citizens to provide it with any information they may have about those who have lost their sight due to security forces.

To quell protests across the country, the regime’s security forces have extensively used shotshell cartridges made by the French-Italian manufacturer Cheddite, which contain numerous small balls or birdshots, or medium buckshots, as well as large solid projectiles known as slugs.

After Mahsa Amini was killed by Iranian police, nationwide protests broke out across the country, resulting in 480 deaths and thousands of injuries, according to IHRNGO.

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