‘Impunity prevents justice’: UN rights physique to probe into Iran’s lethal crackdown on protests

Key factors
  • The decision handed with 25 votes in favor, 16 abstentions and solely six international locations towards.
  • The demonstrations have been sparked by the demise in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
  • The Iranian authorities have turn out to be more and more forceful of their response to the protests.
The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday condemned Iran’s crackdown on peaceable protesters after the demise of Mahsa Amini and voted to create a high-level investigation into the lethal crackdown.

Regardless of heavy stress from Tehran and a last-minute effort by China to undermine the decision, a larger-than-expected majority of the 47-member council supported launching a pattern of Iran’s response to the continued protests.

Thunderous applause erupted because the decision handed by 25 votes in favor, 16 abstentions and solely six international locations – Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela – towards.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the vote, saying it confirmed the United Nations’ high rights physique “acknowledges the gravity of the scenario in Iran”.
“The very fact-finding mission established in the present day will assist make sure that these concerned within the ongoing violent crackdown on the Iranian persons are recognized and their actions documented,” it mentioned in an announcement.

The vote got here on the finish of an pressing session requested by Germany and Iceland with the assist of fifty international locations to debate the scenario in Iran, shaken by two months of protests.

These demonstrations have been sparked by the demise in custody of 22-year-old Amini after she was arrested for an alleged violation of the nation’s strict gown guidelines for girls primarily based on Islamic sharia legislation.
Iranian authorities have turn out to be more and more vocal of their response to the demonstrations as they’ve unfold throughout the nation and morphed right into a broad motion towards the theocracy that has dominated Iran since 1979.
Throughout Thursday’s session, UN rights chief Volker Turk insisted that “the pointless and disproportionate use of pressure should finish.”

Mr Turk, who instructed reporters he had provided to go to Iran however obtained no response from Tehran, mentioned greater than 300 individuals had been killed since Ms Amini’s demise.

Mural Women Life Freedom - Edinburgh

‘Ella’, who’s an Iranian dwelling in Scotland, helps create a mural on Princes Road, Edinburgh. Members of the general public have been invited so as to add their handprint to the paintings throughout a midday occasion on Sunday, November 27, 2022, to assist elevate consciousness of the continued rebellion in Iran. sources: AAP extension / POPE

Norway-based group Iran Human Rights has put the toll above 400, together with greater than 50 youngsters.

About 14,000 individuals, together with youngsters, have been arrested in the course of the protests, he mentioned, describing it as “a staggering quantity”, and he denounced the truth that at the very least six demise sentences had been handed right down to protesters.

Amongst these arrested are some celebrities who’ve expressed assist for the protesters, together with Iranian nationwide footballer Voria Ghafouri, who was arrested on Thursday for “anti-state propaganda”.

A protracted line of Western diplomats took the ground on Thursday in Geneva to denounce the repression in Iran.
German International Minister Annalena Baerbock referred to as on all international locations to assist the impartial worldwide fact-finding mission to analyze all abuses associated to the continued protests, to make sure that “these accountable may be held to account”.
“Impunity prevents justice. Justice for sisters, sons, moms. They’ve names. Jina, Abolfazl, Minoo,” he mentioned, itemizing a number of the many killed.
He instructed reporters the investigation would collect proof to carry the perpetrators accountable, though it was unclear by which jurisdiction they might be tried.

“If we do not acquire the proof in the present day…justice won’t ever come for the victims,” ​​Baerbock mentioned.

Icelandic International Minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir agreed, telling reporters the council’s vote was about “the respect, safety and success of human rights and basic freedoms”.
Dozens of individuals protested in entrance of the UN in Geneva, waving the flags utilized in Iran earlier than the 1979 revolution, amid photographs of alleged victims of the Iranian regime.
The organizers of that rally, the Individuals’s Mojahedin Group of Iran, hailed Thursday’s vote as “a optimistic and vital step”, insisting that “the tradition of impunity should finish”.
Rights teams additionally celebrated the vote, with Amnesty Worldwide describing it as “historic”, whereas Human Rights Watch mentioned it was “a welcome step in the direction of accountability”.

Iran, then again, denounced the Western international locations behind Thursday’s assembly. Europe and the USA “don’t have the ethical credibility to evangelise … about human rights,” mentioned Khadijeh Karimi, Iranian vice chairman for girls and household affairs.


Islamic Republic of Iran Vice President for Girls and Household Affairs Khadijeh Karimi on the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland November 24, 2022. sources: AAP extension / EPA

“Decreasing the frequent reason behind human rights to a instrument for the political functions of particular teams of Western international locations is appalling and shameful,” he added.

Iran has obtained assist from some international locations, with Pakistan, Venezuela and others decrying rising politicization within the council, and Chinese language Ambassador Chen Xu has warned towards “turning human rights right into a instrument for intervening in affairs interiors of different international locations”.
China additionally made a last-minute supply to alter the textual content of Thursday’s decision, demanding that the decision to launch an investigation be eliminated.

Solely six international locations supported this effort.