An international investigation into the bloody crackdown on Iranian protests
The Human Rights Council has approved it by a majority… The High Commissioner called on Tehran to end the disproportionate use of force
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday decided to launch an independent probe into the bloody crackdown on the protests that have rocked Iran for more than two months following the death of young woman Mahsa Amini, with a view to gathering evidence of the abuses committed , to prepare for possible criminal prosecution of those responsible.
At its emergency meeting in Geneva, the Council approved the resolution presented by Germany and Iceland and received the support of a majority of 47 members, as 25 countries agreed, 6 countries opposed and 16 countries abstained.
The decision by members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva is the most prominent international development at a time when Iran is launching a campaign of repression to quell mass protests that have broken out after the killing of Kurdish young woman Mahsa Amini, 22, on September 16 while in police custody.
The protests were particularly focused on women’s rights acts, but protesters also chanted the overthrow of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Morality police arrested Amini for dressing inappropriately, in line with Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.
Over time, the protests morphed into anti-authority protests, unprecedented in scope and nature since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Human Rights Council meeting on Iran at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva yesterday (AFP)
According to UN human rights experts, thousands of peaceful demonstrators were arrested, including many women and children, lawyers, activists and journalists. The judiciary has so far handed down 6 death sentences for its association with the movement against the regime of guardianship of jurists.
During the discussion of the draft resolution, High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called on the Iranian authorities to stop “the useless and disproportionate use of force” against the demonstrators. Türk told the Human Rights Council that he had not yet received a response from Tehran to his visit request.
Türk stressed that “the current situation is unbearable”, before stressing in the ears of journalists that “the government must listen to the people, listen to what they say and engage in a reform process because changes are inevitable”. .
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said more than 300 protesters had been killed since the demonstrations broke out. She referred to reports that at least 40 people have been killed in Kurdish areas since last week.
“We are now witnessing a full-blown human rights crisis,” Türk said in his first speech to the council. He said: “From what we have been able to gather so far, around 14,000 people, including children, have been arrested in connection with the protests. It’s a shocking number.” He added: “The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force must end. The old ways and the impunity mentality of those in power just don’t work. In fact, it only makes the situation worse.
woman, life, freedom
For their part, many Western diplomats denounced the bloody crackdown on protests in Iran. During the session, US Ambassador Michelle Taylor said, “The Iranian people are asking for something very simple, something that most of us take for granted. The ability to speak and be heard,” while members of the American delegation waved pictures and names of victims of oppression.
As for French Ambassador Emmanuelle Lachosset, she said: “(Woman, Life, Freedom) with this simple and strong slogan, Iranian women and Iranians have been reminded of the values they defend for more than two months.”
The German Foreign Minister represented her country at the Human Rights Council meeting on Iran (EPA)
On the other hand, Iran’s representative at the Geneva talks, Khadija Karimi, accused western countries of exploiting the Human Rights Council to attack Iran, a move she described as “an ugly and shameful affair”.
For its part, Iran tried to gain enough allies to thwart the decision. As expected, China, Venezuela and Cuba announced their support for Tehran, as Chinese Ambassador Shen Xu called for “dialogue and cooperation… to promote and protect human rights” during the session.
A Chinese attempt to pass an amendment to the proposal fell through in the council over an attempt to remove the main paragraph relating to a new probe into Iran’s crackdown on popular protests.
China’s envoy told the council shortly before the scheduled vote that the German-led proposal was “extremely critical of (Tehran)”. He added: “It is clear that this will not solve the problem,” and called for an important paragraph to be removed from it. The relevant paragraph provides for the formation of an “international fact-finding mission” to be operational by early 2024.
It is likely that Iran will not allow international investigators to come in to investigate human rights abuses. And the French press agency declared that “allowing this mission to enter its territory is the fourth of the impossible for the Islamic Republic”.
Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian wrote on Twitter that his country would react “appropriately and decisively” to Germany’s “provocative and non-diplomatic attitude”.
Abdullahian addressed his German counterpart Annalina Beerbock, who, ahead of her trip to Geneva to attend the meeting, tweeted that conducting an investigation was essential and stressed the importance of “resolving those responsible for the victims.” to hold actions accountable.”
Before issuing the decision, Birbock told reporters, “This decision means a lot if it is passed. We don’t know if it can save lives tomorrow. But what we do know for sure is that it will mean justice, justice for the people.”
Iran did not disclose the number of protesters killed, but Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said yesterday about 50 police officers were killed and hundreds injured in the unrest, marking the first official death toll among security forces, according to Reuters.
Kane, who is also the chief negotiator on nuclear issues, did not say whether that number included security forces other than the police. Officials had announced that some members of the Basij and Revolutionary Guards had been killed in the riots.
justification for the bombing
At the same time, Iran justified its bombing of Iranian-Kurdish opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan on Thursday by stating in a letter to the UN Security Council that it had “no other way of protecting itself from “terrorist groups”.
A message from Iran’s permanent diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York, reported by the French press agency and citing the official IRNA news agency, said Iran had “recently conducted necessary military operations against terrorist groups that… stationed in the Kurdistan Region are Iraq which, with careful planning, is targeting terrorist sites.”
And she continued: “In this situation, Iran has no choice but to use its fundamental right of self-defense under international law to protect its national security and defend its people.”
The letter said Iran had “demanded the extradition of persons who have committed terrorist crimes to be tried in Iranian courts” and also called for “the closure of the headquarters and training camps of these terrorist groups and the disarmament of their members.”
In addition, the mission stressed “the need for the presence of Iraqi forces at the international borders of the two countries” and stressed that Tehran “fully respects the security and stability of Iraq and reaffirms its commitment to the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq.” .”
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