The UN Human Rights Council is holding an pressing assembly Thursday to debate whether or not to launch a high-level worldwide investigation into the lethal crackdown on mass protests rocking Iran.
The particular session on Iran’s “deteriorating human rights situation” is because of kick off at 10:00 am (0900 GMT) in Geneva, with the brand new UN rights chief Volker Turk set to open the proceedings in his first look earlier than the council.
The assembly, requested by Germany and Iceland with the backing of greater than 50 international locations, follows two months of protests in Iran sparked by the dying of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the nation’s strict costume guidelines for ladies based mostly on Islamic sharia legislation.
The authorities have grown more and more heavy-handed in their response, because the demonstrations have unfold throughout the nation and swelled right into a broad motion in opposition to the theocracy that has dominated Iran since 1979.
At least 416 individuals, together with 51 youngsters, have been killed throughout Iran in the crackdown since Amini’s dying, in response to Norway-based group Iran Human Rights.
Thousands of peaceable protesters have additionally been arrested, in response to the United Nations, together with many ladies, youngsters and journalists, and 6 individuals have thus far been handed dying sentences over the demonstrations.
‘Shine a spotlight’
During Thursday’s session, diplomats will debate a name for a world investigation of alleged violations linked to the continuing protests.
The so-called impartial worldwide fact-finding mission ought to embrace “the gender dimensions of such violations” in its investigations, in response to the draft decision, offered by Germany and Iceland.
The textual content requires the investigators to “collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations, and to preserve evidence,” with a view to future prosecution.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who like her Icelandic counterpart will probably be in Geneva for the session, burdened on Twitter “how important it is for the victims that those responsible are held accountable.”
Diplomats and rights activists voiced robust assist for the initiative.
“We must do all we can to expose the truth of what is happening inside Iran and support the calls of the Iranian people for justice and accountability,” US ambassador Michele Taylor stated.
Tara Sepehri Far, an Iran researcher with Human Rights Watch, urged the council to “shine a spotlight on the deepening repression and… hold those responsible accountable.”
Tehran has in the meantime been lobbying arduous in opposition to the decision and its Western backers.
“With a long history of colonialism and violation of human rights of other nations, the US and Europe are not in a position to pretend to be an advocate of human rights,” the Iranian international ministry tweeted Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian lately tweeted at Baerbock that his nation’s response to Germany’s “provocative, interventionist and undiplomatic stances” could be “proportionate and firm”.
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 German international ministry spokesman Christofer Burger acknowledged to reporters that “success in obtaining a majority is not certain.”
The Human Rights Council has seen rising pushback from international locations together with China, Russia and Iran in opposition to typically Western-led efforts to carry particular person states accountable for alleged violations.
Last month, Western nations suffered a crushing defeat when their try to get China’s alleged abuses in its Xinjiang area onto the council agenda was thwarted.
But Iran could have a more durable time blocking Thursday’s decision.
The council has already voiced considerations at Iran’s human rights file by in 2011 appointing a so-called particular rapporteur to watch the nation, and voting every year since then to resume that mandate.
“It should pass,” stated Omid Memarian, an analyst at Democracy for the Arab World Now.
If it does, he advised AFP, it’ll present “a huge moral boost” to the protesters, and ship a warning to rights violators in Iran that “the rest of the world will not be safe for them.”