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UN rights council strikes to analyze Iran’s protest crackdown

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‘Fact-finding mission’ will probe alleged human rights abuses in Iran, with explicit give attention to girls and kids.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to ascertain a fact-finding mission to analyze potential abuses in Iran’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, with a selected give attention to girls and kids.

Thunderous applause broke out because the 47-member council handed the decision on Thursday, with 25 international locations voting in favour and 16 abstaining. Six nations – Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela – voted towards the measure.

“The people of Iran, from all walks of life across ethnicities, across ages, are demanding change,” mentioned UN human rights chief Volker Turk, urging Iran to finish its “disproportionate” use of drive towards the protesters.

“I call on the authorities immediately to stop using violence and harassment against peaceful protesters and to release all those arrested for peacefully protesting, as well as … a moratorium on the death penalty,” he mentioned.

The decision is the most recent move by the worldwide neighborhood to strain Iran over alleged abuses linked to the protests, which broke out in September after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by the “morality police” for violating the nation’s strict costume code.

Demonstrations have since unfold throughout the nation, prompting a harsh response from the Iranian authorities.

Turk mentioned greater than 300 folks had been killed since Amini’s loss of life, whereas 14,000 had been arrested, together with kids. He added that Tehran had not responded to his request to go to the nation.

In a press release saying new sanctions towards Iranian safety officers earlier this week, the United States mentioned the crackdown has been “particularly severe” in areas of the nation with giant Kurdish populations.

Iran has given no loss of life toll for the protesters.

Thursday’s vote drew reward from a number of international locations, together with the US, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying it confirmed that the highest UN rights physique “recognises the gravity of the situation in Iran”.

“The fact-finding mission established today will help ensure that those engaged in the ongoing violent suppression of Iranian people are identified and their actions documented,” Blinken mentioned in a press release.

Rights teams additionally celebrated the decision, with Amnesty International describing it as “historic”, whereas Human Rights Watch mentioned it was “a welcome step towards accountability”.

But it was condemned by Iran’s consultant on the assembly in Geneva, Khadijeh Karimi, who referred to as it “politically motivated”.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets that the Human Rights Council is abused once again by some arrogant states to antagonise a sovereign UN member state that is fully committed to its obligation to promote and protect human rights,” mentioned Karimi, Iran’s deputy of the vp for girls and household affairs.

She additionally accused Western nations of ignoring human rights abuses in Yemen and the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Reducing the common cause of human rights to a tool for political purposes of specific groups of Western countries is appalling and disgraceful,” she added.

The decision, put ahead by Germany and Iceland, calls for that Tehran cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council’s particular rapporteur on Iran, together with by granting entry to areas inside Iranian territory, reminiscent of locations of detention.

The staff can be anticipated to report again to the council in mid-2023.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock referred to as on all international locations to again the unbiased probe to make sure “those responsible can be held to account”.

“If we don’t collect the evidence today … justice will never come to the victims,” Baerbock mentioned.

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