United States

Washington sheds light at UN on Iran protests

This week the United States is highlighting at the United Nations protests in Iran over the death of a girl in police custody and looking for ways to encourage credible, independent investigations into human rights violations in Iran.

According to a memo seen by Reuters, the United States and Albania will hold an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi are scheduled to speak at the meeting.

The meeting will highlight the ongoing repression of women, girls and members of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran. It will identify opportunities to encourage credible and independent investigations into the Iranian government’s human rights violations and abuses.

The UN independent human rights investigator in Iran, Javaid Rehman, is also scheduled to address a meeting that could be attended by other UN member states and rights groups

The memo on the planned meeting stated that it “will confirm the continued unlawful use of force against protesters and the Iranian regime’s pursuit of human rights defenders and dissidents abroad for abduction or assassination in contravention of international law.”

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric urged the Iranian authorities on Friday to address “the legitimate complaints of the population, including with regard to women’s rights.” “We condemn all incidents that have resulted in the death or serious injury of protesters, we emphasize that security forces must avoid any unnecessary or disproportionate use of force against peaceful demonstrators, and that those responsible must be held to account,” Dujarric told reporters.

Also on Friday, the UN expressed “growing concern” over reports of deaths in ongoing protests in Iran, urging the Iranian government in Tehran to respect human rights, noting that the crisis can and must be controlled through dialog.

Unrest swept Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in mid-January after she was arrested by morality police for allegedly violating Islamic dress codes. The girl died in police custody.

Since Amini death, thousands have protested across the country against the government’s repressive methods and the Islamist regime. Rights groups have said at least 250 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested across the country. Women have played a prominent role in protests in which they unveiled and set ablaze their heads.

The Iranian Human Rights Organization said the number of victims of protests in Iran has risen to at least 253, including 34 people under the age of 18.

Iran’s mission to the UN in New York accused the United States and its allies of misusing their platforms “to advance their political agendas.”

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