Middle East

Iran Deaths: A Further Word on the Figures

0 14

Scott Lucas, Prof. 

Earlier this week I wrote, as part of our posts on the casualties and detentions in the post-election conflict in Iran, about a figure of 245 deaths put forward by the on-line journalist and activist Fintan Dunne. While I valued Mr Dunne’s efforts to pin down the story, especially in light of the Iranian Government’s efforts to limit or block knowledge of the deaths, I expressed uncertainty about whether a figure could be drawn from Mr Dunne’s methodology, “We do not know.”

I was distressed to learn this morning that this post has been taken out of context. Apparently those commenting on discussion boards are using it to claim, “Made-up research discredits Fintan Dunne and the Green Movement”.

Mr Dunne’s research is not “made-up”. His 245 estimate was based on news accounts, such as the account from two doctors in Le Figaro of 92 bodies in the hospital in which they work and the revelation this week of 34 bodies of protesters in three Tehran hospitals on 20 June. It also is based on Mr Dunne’s sources, some of whom may not be able to be revealed for fear of Government retribution.

As there is no possibility of a 100% count of the deaths, or any official partial count that would carry credibility, Mr Dunne had to extrapolate from what we do know. He did so using a methodology based on a ratio of deaths in Tehran to those outside the capital (where there is little information), an estimate of the numbers of deaths being hidden by the Government, and other factors.

Personally, that is not my approach. I prefer to work from confirmed information, partly out of concern that any estimate can be labelled by a regime as “propaganda”.

To my chagrin, however, I find that this is precisely what has happened to Mr Dunne’s work. So let me be clear: there is a basis for his methodology, and his estimate is more than plausible in the context of those deaths that have been established. And, for those who have political motives in denigrating the 245 figure, you should beware that eventually the confirmed (if partial) total will be greater.

It is unfortunate that, in a conflict such as this, those who strive to lift the veil of secrecy are the first targets for denigration. I regret any inadvertent support I may have given for this effort to undermine Mr Dunne’s work, even as I anticipate that his efforts and those of other valuable journalists inside and outside Iran will give us an approximation of the “truth”.

About the author / 


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • 25th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. IV – October-November-December 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-13….. World News by Ebru Birinci 15-20….. The Jungle Grows Back How can We Redefine the Future World Order in the Tension of Power and Ideas? by Marco Marsili 22-29….. Interview With Professor Katharyne Mitchell by Ozgur Tufekci & Rahman…

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…