Tue 9 Nov 21
A leading human rights expert from Essex’s School of Law is a judge on the Aban Tribunal, an International People’s Tribunal established to investigate atrocities alleged to have taken place in Iran two years ago.
Dr Carla Ferstman is one of the panel members who, after hearing the evidence, will determine whether crimes under international law have been committed by Iranian state forces and paramilitaries during the November protests in 2019.
According to the Aban Tribunal website: "The protests broke out nationally across Iran following a sudden spike in fuel prices. The peaceful protests were met with brutality and violence, with many innocent civilians caught up in the bloodshed.
"In the days that followed – amid a total Internet shutdown enforced by the authorities – many people were killed, injured or detained, some of whom are now on death row, awaiting execution.
"Two years on from the atrocities there had been no judicial investigations or criminal proceedings. Instead, the families of victims had to settle for proposals of money while being threatened and intimidated if they tried to speak out".
A group of human rights advocates, and three human rights organisations, decided to initiate the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, which is known in Iran as the Aban Tribunal, named after the month in which these events took place.
Organisations involved include Justice for Iran, Iran Human Rights and Together against the Death Penalty (EPCM). These have all worked with the victims’ families and protesters, as well as detainees on death row, and those whose lives have been deeply affected by the atrocities.
They have given the mandate to a group of renowned international lawyers and human rights experts – including Dr Ferstman – on behalf of the victims’ communities to determine whether violations took place.
Public hearings will be held this week (from Wednesday 10 November to Sunday 14 November) in London, with the Tribunal’s Judgement to be announced in early 2022.