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Iran condemns brutal killing of Iranian-American man by US police in Virginia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows Iranian-American Bijan C. Ghaisar, who was shot by the United States Park Police in state of Virginia on the evening of November 17, 2017.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has condemned the “brutal” murder of an Iranian-American man by US police in the state of Virginia.

“The Foreign Ministry is seriously pursuing the issue to immediately restore the rights of Iranian citizens through existing official channels,” Qassemi said on Wednesday.

He also offered condolences to the family of the slain man, Bijan C. Ghaisar, who was shot by the United States Park Police on the evening of November 17. The police alleged that the 25-year-old man had been involved in a hit-and-run accident. He died Monday night after 10 days on life support.

Ghaisar’s family said in a statement that he was shot three times in the head and suffered irreversible brain damage, adding that he had no weapons in his vehicle when shot.

“The reason for the murder of our son has yet to be determined,” the family said, adding, “though no reasoning could possibly justify the actions of the one or more Park Police officers involved in this unthinkable act.”

A witness told The Washington Post last week that she saw two officers approach the young man's vehicle and open fire at close range.

The Post added that the officers' names and the reason for the shooting had not been released. It is also unclear whether the shooting was justifiable.

Bijan Ghaisar was an American-born citizen of Iranian heritage.

Meanwhile, Iran’s High Council for Human Rights has condemned the violent act, saying, “The US government should be held accountable for the murder and answer to the world’s public opinion.”

The council added that via an official letter, it would call on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to follow up on the killing and provide a report.

The Iranian rights council also noted that according to the principles of international law, especially Article I of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”  

The council also called on the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents the US interests in Iran, to convey Tehran’s concerns over the issue to the US government.

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