June 8, 2020
How Amnesty and Reuters lied about the Iran protests of 2019
Reza Esfandiari (MSc.) and Yousef Bozorgmehr (Ph.D)
“Men lie because they think they can gain by deceiving others.” Darius I, King of Persia
Amnesty International (AI) has claimed that 304 protesters were unlawfully killed by
security forces in Iran during November 2019 following a 3-fold increase in gasoline prices.
However, in a report released on May 20th 2020, Amnesty could only name 232 alleged
victims, which is almost the same as a figure given by an Iranian deputy for the death toll.
The Reuters news agency, citing unnamed sources in the Iranian government, has reported
1,500 were killed, a figure initially released by the cult-like People’s Mojahedeen (PMOI). It
thus appears to be an attempt to lend journalistic credence to the PMOI's own fake claims.
Contrary to Amnesty's assertion about the protests being mostly peaceful, hundreds of
banks, gas stations and paramilitary bases were attacked by gangs of young thugs, some of
whom were affiliated to known armed opposition groups, such as the PMOI, PJAK and ISIS.
Amnesty has wilfully distorted the statements of Iranian officials, and has ignored evidence
showing that the police were firing plastic, not metal, bullets in several recorded instances.
Many civilians, including children, were not even protesting when they were fatally shot by
unidentified snipers: this contradicts AI's line that the killings occurred to quell the unrest.
Unable to keep subsidizing the cost of refined gasoline, the heads of the three branches of the
Iranian government - the president, speaker of the parliament (Majlis) and judiciary chief – agreed in
November 2019 that the price of gasoline would be increased from 10,000 rials to 15,000 rials for a
rationed monthly amount of 60 litres and 30,000 rials f