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Iran: UN resolution to investigate protest crackdown welcomed

Human Rights Council in Geneva agrees to creation of a fact-finding mission 

Iranian authorities have ignored repeated past calls to open criminal investigations 

‘The cries of people in Iran for justice have finally been heard’ - Agnès Callamard 

Responding to today’s announcement that the UN Human Rights Council has passed a landmark resolution to establish a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations in Iran - especially with respect to women and children - committed during more than two months of protests in the country, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: 

“This important and long overdue step shows that the cries of people in Iran for justice have finally been heard. 

“While the fact-finding mission should have come far sooner, today’s vote sends a clear message to the Iranian authorities that they can no longer commit crimes under international law without fear of consequences.

“States must now ensure that the mandate is made operational and sufficiently resourced without delay and call upon the Iranian authorities to cooperate fully with the mission and allow unhindered access to the country. 

“Today’s vote must also serve as a wake-up call for the Iranian authorities to immediately end their all-out militarised attack on demonstrators.”

The fact-finding mission has a mandate to “collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations and preserve evidence, including in view of cooperation, in any legal proceedings”.

Ongoing human rights violations

As the resolution was being negotiated in Geneva, the Iranian authorities continued to reject the findings of UN experts and human rights organisations. In the meantime, at home they persisted in their widespread use of unlawful lethal force and sought the death penalty for protesters. 

The Iranian authorities’ deadly repression of the ongoing popular uprising in Iran, which erupted after the death in custody of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini on 16 September, is the latest in a five-year cycle of violent attacks waged by the authorities against people expressing their legitimate grievances. Amnesty has repeatedly documented crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities in the context of protests, including unlawful killings following unwarranted use of lethal force, mass arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, and the sentencing of individuals to lengthy prison terms or to death following grossly unfair trials. The Iranian authorities have ignored repeated calls by the international community to open criminal investigations into such crimes. Instead, they’ve sought to destroy evidence of their crimes while persecuting survivors and victims’ relatives.

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