BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s foreign minister appealed Thursday for more scrutiny of Iran ahead of a special session at the top United Nations human rights body focused on the Islamic Republic’s bloody crackdown on protesters.
“All our efforts go to the people who demand their rights with courage and dignity,” Annalena Baerbock, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement. “For these claims alone, hundreds are killed, thousands are captured, and millions are suppressed.”
The Human Rights Council was to debate and vote on a proposal, presented by Germany and Iceland and supported by many other countries, to establish a team of independent investigators to monitor human rights in Iran. as protests continue.
The protests were sparked by the death in mid-September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody for violating a strictly enforced Islamic dress code.
The session in Geneva is the latest international effort to pressure Iran over its crackdown, which has already drawn international sanctions and other measures.
“Iranian protesters have no seat on the Human Rights Council in Geneva, they have no voice at the United Nations,” said Baerbock, who was to participate in the session. a flag against the injustices, beatings and shootings used by the Iranian regime to destroy peaceful protest.”
The proposal from Germany and Iceland aims to scrutinize what has been going on for many years by the Council’s “special rapporteur” on Iran, whose efforts have been thwarted by the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Western diplomats say Tehran is leading a quiet push in Geneva and beyond to try to avoid any further scrutiny through a new council resolution being considered on Thursday.
The proposal would set up a “fact-finding mission” to investigate rights violations “particularly with regard to women and children” related to the protests that erupted on September 16. It also demands that Tehran cooperate with the special rapporteur, such as granting access to Iranian territory, including places of detention.
The team is expected to report back to the council in mid-2023.
Amini remains a powerful symbol in protests that have posed one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 2009 Green Movement protests drew millions to the streets.
At least 426 people have been killed and more than 17,400 arrested, according to Activists for Human Rights in Iran, a group that monitors the unrest.
Activists said Iranian security forces used artillery on Monday against demonstrators in a western Kurdish town, killing at least five people during an anti-government protest at the funeral of two killed the previous day.