How EU-made shotgun cartridges ended up being used to repress protests in Iran

© Observers

An investigation by the FRANCE 24 Observers team has found evidence that shotgun cartridges manufactured by French-Italian manufacturer Cheddite have been used in the repression of protests in Iran. Shotgun cartridges using Cheddite components have been widely used for hunting purposes in Iran since at least 2011, an apparent violation of EU sanctions that went into place that year.

In its investigation, the FRANCE 24 Observers team asked Iranians to send photographs of spent ammunition recovered from protests repressed by Iran’s security forces since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16. The team analysed more than 100 photos and videos showing tear gas canisters, rifle bullets, paintball projectiles and cartridges from shotguns, which have been widely used by Iran’s security forces. While most of the shotgun shells photographed were made in Iran, 13 shells recovered from eight different Iranian cities bore Cheddite logos.

Cheddite-branded shotgun shells have been widely used by Iranian hunters for years. A member of Iran’s security forces told the FRANCE 24 Observers that his unit is sometimes issued with hunting cartridges.

>> Read more on The Observers: How Iran’s security forces are shooting to kill with ‘non-combat’ shotgun shells

Cheddite-branded cartridges found in 2022 protests

A demonstrator in the capital Tehran sent photographs of a cartridge recovered on October 3, after security forces fired shotguns at protesters. The cartridge features the Cheddite “12*12*12*12*” logo and a yellow plastic sleeve reading “Iran 2020/01”.


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