Independent international investigation launched into repression in Iran

Independent international investigation launched into repression in Iran
Independent international investigation launched into repression in Iran

The crackdown on protests in Iran will be the subject of an independent international investigation. The UN Human Rights Council launched a one-year fact-finding mission in Geneva on Thursday.

The vote was announced as tight, but the draft resolution carried by Germany and Iceland was approved with a comfortable gap, greeted by applause. In total, 25 States supported it, against 6 opposition and 16 abstentions.

An international investigation was demanded by Iranian opponents and many NGOs. In the resolution, the Council “deplores” the hundreds of victims in the demonstrations since the death of the young Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the police for having worn her veil incorrectly.

“Unacceptable violence”

For the head of German diplomacy Annalena Baerbock, this resolution “is very important”. It will ultimately contribute to “justice” for the Iranian people, she told reporters. Previously before the Council, she had estimated that the States should “represent millions of women, men and children”, listing several rights which, according to her, have been flouted in Iran.

In two months, the lowest estimates speak of more than 300 killed, including 40 children, but Iranian opponents put the number at more than 600. “Unacceptable” violence, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of the man Volker Türk for his first speech before the instance since taking office.

Before the Council, the High Commissioner relayed a clear message to Tehran. “Change in Iran is inevitable,” he said in the face of a situation he considers “untenable”. It calls for an end to the disproportionate use of force and for reforms.

A “staggering” number of people arrested

Nearly 15,000 people have been arrested for protesting since the death of young Mahsa Amini. “It’s a staggering number,” said the High Commissioner. There are indications that even children are implicated by the regime. More than 20 people are said to face possible capital punishment for protesting.

The High Commissioner specifically targeted the Revolutionary Guards and other security forces, accused of using lethal weapons. The wounded are so afraid of being arrested that they do not go to the hospitals. The doctors also denounced interference by the authorities in the care.

Faced with this situation, Volker Türk calls for the protesters to be heard. “The old ways and the fortress mentality of those in power no longer work,” he said. On the contrary, they only worsen a situation which can now be considered a “human rights crisis”. “Women ‘must be able to feel free and safe’ and participate like men in society”.

“Huge Victory”

For Mitra Sohrabi, lawyer and member of the Swiss “Woman, life, freedom” association, interviewed on the RTS program Forum, it is a “huge victory”, “a first symbolic message for Iranians and Iranians (…) and then pressure on the Islamic Republic which intensifies on the part of the international community, which is exceptional in the case of Iran.”

The lawyer explains that the “report that will result is something extremely valuable, at a time when in the future, the people who perpetrated the atrocities that we have seen in recent weeks will be judged.”

>> Listen also to the intervention of Mitra Sohrabi in Forum:

An extraordinary session of the Human Rights Council following the revolts in Iran: interview with Mitra Sohrabi / Forum / 5 min. / today at 18:04

Demonstration of Iranians from Switzerland in Geneva

As on several occasions for two months, the Iranians of Switzerland and several other countries met Thursday morning on the Place des Nations in Geneva to relay this request for investigation, a request which has therefore borne fruit.

>> Read: New demonstrations of solidarity with Iran in Switzerland

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The article is in French

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