An investigation by the FRANCE 24 Observers has provoked a furious reaction from Iranians in Iran and around the world. In an article published November 25, the Observers team published photographs showing 13 shotgun cartridges bearing the logos of Cheddite, a French-Italian ammunition manufacturer, that had been recovered from protests in Iran. The presence of EU-made ammunition in Iran is an apparent violation of a 2011 EU sanction banning the "export, directly or indirectly, [of] equipment which might be used for internal repression" in Iran.
The article was massively shared by Iranians on Twitter, Telegram and other social networks. One poster wrote: "Hundreds of Iranians have been blinded by shotgun pellets made by a Franco-Italian company. What does this company doing business with the mullahs’ regime have to say about it?"
Shotguns have been widely used by all branches of Iran’s security services since protests started on Sept. 16, 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini. Images posted on social media show protesters with dozens or hundreds of puncture wounds from shotgun pellets. Hundreds of protesters are reported to have been blinded in one or both eyes by the ammunition, and Amnesty International says at least 20 people have died after being hit by shotgun blasts.
In France, the Foreign Ministry has opened an investigation.