Home NewsAfrica ‘We owe it to the victims’: UN urges Iran to halt violence on protesters, debates investigation | News24

‘We owe it to the victims’: UN urges Iran to halt violence on protesters, debates investigation | News24

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  • The UN urged Iran to cease utilizing violence towards peaceable protesters. 
  • Protests started after the killing of of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. 
  • In line with Norway-based group, Iran Human Rights, over 400 individuals have been killed since Amini’s loss of life. 

The UN rights chief urged Iran on Thursday to instantly halt violence towards protesters, as nations debated whether or not to launch an investigation into Tehran’s lethal crackdown.

Volker Turk opened an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council, the place nations had been known as to debate Iran’s “deteriorating human rights scenario” and decide if a high-level worldwide investigation is warranted.

The assembly, requested by Germany and Iceland with the backing of greater than 50 nations, follows two months of protests in Iran sparked by the loss of life of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the nation’s strict gown guidelines for ladies based mostly on Islamic sharia regulation.

“I name on the authorities instantly to cease utilizing violence and harassment towards peaceable protesters,” stated Turk, the United Nations’ excessive commissioner for human rights.

“The pointless and disproportionate use of drive should come to an finish,” he stated, warning that Iran was in “a full-fledged human rights disaster.”

He stated:

Accountability is a key ingredient of the pursuit of justice for human rights violations.

Iranian authorities have grown more and more heavy-handed of their response, because the demonstrations have unfold throughout the nation and swelled right into a broad motion towards the theocracy that has dominated Iran since 1979.

Turk stated greater than 300 individuals had been killed since Amini’s loss of life. Norway-based group Iran Human Rights has put the toll above 400, together with greater than 50 youngsters.

“The safety forces… have used stay ammunition, birdshot and different metallic pellets, tear gasoline and batons,” stated Turk.

‘Shine a highlight’

He additionally stated round 14 000 individuals, together with youngsters, have been arrested within the context of the protests, describing this as “a staggering quantity”.

At the very least six individuals have to this point been sentenced to loss of life in reference to the protests.

Diplomats had been requested on Thursday to determine whether or not to ascertain a so-called unbiased worldwide fact-finding mission into all abuses linked with the continuing protests.

The investigation ought to embrace “the gender dimensions of such violations”, based on the draft decision, offered by Germany and Iceland.

The textual content requires the investigators to “accumulate, consolidate and analyse proof of such violations, and to protect proof,” with a view to future prosecution.

READ | Iran’s protest crackdown kills over 70 in a week: NGO

German Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock, who like her Icelandic counterpart attended the session, harassed that “the Iranian demonstrators don’t have any seat on the Human Rights Council in Geneva.”

Earlier than it started, she urged the council to “elevate its voice for the indivisible rights of Iran’s individuals.”

Diplomats and rights activists voiced robust assist for the initiative.

US ambassador Michele Taylor stated:

We should do all we are able to to show the reality of what’s occurring inside Iran and assist the calls of the Iranian individuals for justice and accountability.

‘Narrative of tyrrany’

Turk stated Iranian statements sought “to delegitimise and label protesters, civil society actors and journalists as brokers of enemies and international states.”

“As now we have seen all through historical past, it is the standard narrative of tyranny,” he stated, encouraging the Iranian management to respect elementary freedoms and interact with residents about their imaginative and prescient for the nation.

He harassed:

Change is inevitable. The way in which ahead is significant reforms.

In response, Khadijeh Karimi, Iran’s deputy of the vice chairman for ladies and household affairs, slammed the Western nations that demanded the assembly.

Europe and the USA “lack the ethical credibility to evangelise others on human rights and to request a particular session on Iran,” she stated.

Germany and Iceland obtained broad backing 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 voiced cautious optimism that the decision would undergo, however acknowledged it could possibly be tight.

Baerbock known as for the council to vote in favour of the decision.

“We owe it to the victims,” she stated. “Each vote counts.”

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