Iran is in a “whole human rights disaster,” says the UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights
The United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights urged Iran Thursday to instantly cease violence towards protesters, as international locations debate whether or not to launch an investigation into Tehran’s lethal crackdown.
Volker Türk opened an emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the place international locations have been summoned to debate the “deteriorating human rights state of affairs” in Iran and decide whether or not a high-level worldwide investigation is warranted.
The assembly, requested by Germany and Iceland with the assist of greater than 50 international locations, comes after two months of protests in Iran sparked by the demise of 22-year-old Mohsa Amini, after she was arrested for violating the nation’s strict gown code. Guidelines for ladies primarily based on Islamic legislation.
“I name on the authorities to instantly cease utilizing violence and harassment towards peaceable demonstrators,” stated Türk, the UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The pointless and disproportionate use of drive should finish,” he stated, warning that Iran was going by means of a “full-blown human rights disaster.”
He instructed the 47-member council that “accountability is a key element of the pursuit of justice for human rights violations,” and urged the physique to vote in favor of an investigation.
The Iranian authorities have solely grown harsher of their response, as demonstrations have unfold throughout the nation and morphed right into a broad motion towards the theocracy that has dominated Iran since 1979.
Al-Turk stated greater than 300 folks have been killed since Amini’s demise. The Norway-based Iranian Human Rights Group estimated the demise toll at greater than 400, together with greater than 50 youngsters.
“Safety forces… used dwell ammunition, birdshot and different steel cartridges, tear gasoline and batons,” al-Turk stated.
He additionally stated that about 14,000 folks, together with youngsters, have been arrested in the midst of the protests, calling this an “wonderful quantity”.
No less than six folks have to this point been sentenced to demise in reference to the protests.
Diplomats have been requested on Thursday to find out whether or not to arrange a so-called unbiased worldwide fact-finding mission into all abuses linked to the continued protests.
The investigation ought to embrace “the gender dimensions of such violations,” in accordance with the draft decision submitted by Germany and Iceland.
The textual content requires investigators to “accumulate, consolidate and analyze proof of such violations, and to protect the proof” with a view to future prosecutions.
German Overseas Minister Annalina Berbock, who attended the session like her Icelandic counterpart, confirmed that “the Iranian demonstrators would not have a seat within the Human Rights Council in Geneva.”
Earlier than she started, she urged the council to “increase its voice for the indivisible rights of the folks of Iran.”
Diplomats and rights activists have expressed robust assist for the initiative.
“We should do every thing we will to uncover the reality about what is going on inside Iran and assist the Iranian folks’s requires justice and accountability,” stated US Ambassador Michele Taylor.
Al-Turki stated the Iranian statements sought to “delegitimize protesters, civil society actors, and journalists, describing them as brokers of enemies and international international locations.”
“As we have seen all through historical past, it is the everyday narrative of tyranny,” he stated, encouraging Iran’s management to respect fundamental freedoms and to speak with residents about their imaginative and prescient for the nation.
“Change is inevitable. The way in which ahead is significant reforms,” he careworn.
In response, Khadija Karimi, Iran’s deputy vp for ladies’s and household affairs, criticized Western international locations that demanded the assembly.
She stated Europe and america “lack the ethical credibility to evangelise to others about human rights and request a particular session on Iran.”
Germany and Iceland obtained broad assist for his or her request to carry Thursday’s session, together with from greater than a 3rd of the council’s 47 members.
Western diplomats expressed cautious optimism concerning the decision’s passage, however acknowledged it might be aggravating.
Barbock known as on the council to vote in favor of the decision.
“We owe it to the victims,” she stated. “Each vote counts.”