Iran: deadly crackdown on protesters must be investigated

Thousands protest in London, UK, over the death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian police custody - 1st October 2022, ©Shutterstock

Oral statement
UN Human Rights Council – 35th Special Session on Iran

24 November 2022

Thank you, Mr President.

For over four decades, Iranian women human rights defenders have advocated for women’s rights, bravely and non-violently. Iranian women have also peacefully resisted and struggled against discrimination, including the mandatory hijab.

During the past four decades, State repression has continuously worsened, with the current government being at its lowest point of tolerance towards civic activism. Today, many of those advocating for gender equality are in prison. Activists, students, researchers, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers are facing trumped-up charges of endangering national security. Since the start of the protests in September 2022, over 170 women human rights defenders have been arrested.

Iranian women are at the highest level of frustration and anger at the continued discrimination and gender inequality they endure daily. The ongoing women, life and freedom protests that have stemmed from it have been lethally repressed. We are horrified by the brutal violence and excessive use of force by the government to crush the protests. Nearly 450 persons have been killed, 60 of them children. Ethnic minorities, such as Kurds and Baluchis, face the greatest violence.

We urge the Human Rights Council to adopt a strong resolution establishing an independent mechanism to investigate the deadly crackdown on protesters, including the disproportionate killings of ethnic minorities. The Human Rights Council should further push for the safety and release of all imprisoned protesters and human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders.

I thank you.