The rapporteur of the UN for IranJavaid Rehman, asked today before the United Nations Human Rights Council the creation of an international mechanism to investigate the death of the young Iranian Mahsa Amini and the repression of the subsequent protestsin which more than 300 people have died.
At a special session of the Human Rights Council to discuss the current political and social crisis in IranAmini requested this investigation in order to “handling the claims of the victims” in a country where “structural impunity has fueled a pattern of murders, forced disappearances, torture and abuses.”
Rehman stressed that in line with these old practices, the Iranian state has ordered since the start of the protests, in mid-September, “violent repression at any cost”, with presidential orders to act “without mercy” against the protesters.
The United Nations rapporteur stressed that state repression against protesters is intensifying, and Only in the last seven days there have been between 60 and 70 deaths, including five children, especially in areas with a Kurdish population.
Since the beginning of the protests, six people have been sentenced to death and at least 21 others, in illegitimate trials and behind closed doors, have been accused of diffuse crimes (such as “war against God” or “corruption on earth”, contemplated in the Islamic penal code) also punishable by capital punishment, he said.
“We demand that the Iranian authorities stop using the death penalty as a tool to crush protestsand we reiterate our call to immediately release peaceful protesters” detained since the start of the protests, after which according to the UN there have been around 15,000 arrests.
The UN rapporteur added that many journalists are receiving death threats while covering the protests, while the authorities in some cases are refusing to return the bodies of the deceased in custody unless relatives agree to their demands.
These usually consist of do not speak to the press, do not hold funerals, or bury loved ones in remote areas“often at night and in the presence of intelligence officers,” according to the rapporteur.
At the start of the session, which should end today with the vote on a resolution, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, stressed that “The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force in Iran must end”a country that is immersed in “an open human rights crisis”.
“I urge the Government of Iran to listen (…). Hear the people’s demand for their mistakes, accept the legitimacy of those who are asking for different visions of a society in which women and girls should be able to feel free and safe without fear to violence or harassment,” he said.
Tehran’s strategy of denying legitimacy and branding protesters, civil society activists as “enemies of the state” is “the typical narrative of a tyranny,” said Türk, who insisted that “people of all social classes and ethnicities in Iran are asking for changes”. (YO)