The United Nations Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into human rights abuses in Iran.

Following the UN Human Rights Coordinator Volker Türk’s call for an independent investigation into the ongoing deadly violence against protesters in Iran, the Human Rights Council established a fact-finding mission to investigate the protests that began on 16 September 2022.

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to condemn Iran’s deadly crackdown on peaceful protests, and to set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate alleged abuses, particularly against women and children. The UN High Commissioner stressed how security forces, “particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij forces, used live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, tear gas and batons” against the protest movement that has spread to 150 cities and 140 universities worldwide. Iran. A resolution proposed by Germany and Iceland has the support of 25 countries, including the United States and many European, Latin American, Asian and African countries. China, Pakistan, Cuba, Eritrea, Venezuela and Armenia all opposed the move, while 16 abstained. In response to the High Commissioner’s remarks, Iran’s representative, Khadija Karimi, Deputy Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, insisted that the government had taken “necessary measures” to bring justice following Ms. Amini’s death. This included the establishment of an independent parliamentary commission of inquiry and a forensic medical team. Speaking at the special session – the council’s 35th session since its inception in 2005 – Javed Rehman, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, insisted that efforts to silence protesters have intensified in the past week, including against children. The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, while she was in custody of the morality police for violating the Islamic dress code, which has been strictly enforced for more than two months.

Thursday’s Geneva meeting is the latest international effort to pressure Iran over its crackdown, which has already resulted in international sanctions and other measures. At least 15,000 people have also been arrested, and “the Iranian regime is now threatening the protesters with the death penalty,” according to German Foreign Minister Annalina Berbock, who called the special session in the first place: “And why?” Just because these women, men and children want to enjoy themselves. With the same rights as everyone else: to live in dignity and without discrimination.” Echoing that message, US Ambassador for Human Rights in Geneva Michelle Taylor told the council that the Iranian people are “demanding something so simple, something most of us here take for granted: the right to speak and to be heard We salute their courage, especially that of women, girls and young people who are bravely demanding respect for their human rights and accountability for violations of those rights. The Council will now set up a “fact-finding mission” to investigate rights violations “particularly with regard to women and children” related to the 16 September protests. It also demands that Tehran cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, such as granting access to areas within Iranian territory, including detention facilities.

Amini has remained a powerful symbol in the protests, which have posed one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the Green Movement protests in 2009. It is critical that the decision to establish the truth commission be passed “because of Iran’s apparent unwillingness to investigate many credible allegations of human rights abuses by members of its security forces.” Taylor described China’s attempt to block the proposal as “personally appalling”. “Some of those who have defended the Iranian authorities have tried to portray this as just a cultural issue,” she said. “Let’s be clear: no culture accepts the killing of women and children.”

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