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International Community Stands Firm: Mandates for UN Human Rights Bodies on Iran Are Renewed in the Face of Islamic Republic Atrocities

The decision by the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to renew the mandates of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Iran (FFMI) and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran represents a resolute international commitment to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for the egregious human rights violations it has committed in the wake of the protests that erupted across Iran in September 2022.

With a vote of 24 votes for renewal of the two mandates, with 15 abstentions and 8 members voting against, the 47-member Council’s stance at the 55th session sends a clear message: accountability for the Islamic Republic’s many atrocities committed during its violent suppression of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising in Iran is non-negotiable.

“The world has told the Iranian authorities that it will not look away as the Islamic Republic commits atrocities against the Iranian people,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“Governments should seize this moment to publicly condemn the grave and continued violations of human rights perpetrated by the state in Iran, which the UN has now stated rise to crimes against humanity,” he added.

“With the Iranian authorities refusing to hold even one official accountable for the murder, rape, and torture of countless Iranian protesters, it was imperative for these two UN bodies to continue their work documenting these abuses,” Ghaemi said.

Established by the UNHRC in 2022 to investigate Iran’s violent suppression of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, the FFMI has amassed documented evidence of state atrocities, from mass murder to arbitrary arrests, rape, and torture. Preserving this evidence is critical to any future prosecution of responsible Iranian officials. As the collection of evidence is continuing, allowing the FFMI to conclude its work is critical.

Simultaneously, the Special Rapporteur on Iran serves as a vital depository for human rights information and case material on Iran. Its detailed reports have significantly raised global awareness of the scope and severity of rights abuses in Iran, and its work has led to prisoner releases and halts to executions.

The “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests erupted following the killing in state custody of Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, days after her arrest for an allegedly improper hijab. Her killing galvanized months of protests in cities across Iran, and was met with violent state reprisals resulting in over 500 deaths.

CHRI echoes the call in the UNHRC resolution for the authorities in Iran to cooperate fully with the FFMI and the Special Rapporteur, and to “grant them unhindered access to the country and to provide all information necessary” to fulfill their mandates. To date the Islamic Republic has refused any cooperation with either body.

The 24 countries voting in favor were: Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Paraguay, Romania, Somalia, and the United States.

The 15 countries abstaining were: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

The eight countries voting no were: Algeria, Burundi, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Indonesia, Sudan, and Vietnam.

Second publication by courtesy of Center for Human Rights in Iran


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