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UN human rights body to hold urgent session on Iran amid protest crackdown

Overview of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, September 12, 2022. Picture taken with a fish-eye lens. [Denis Balibouse | Reuters]

The U.N.’s top human rights body is poised to hold a special session on Iran in the wake of the government’s deadly crackdowns on protesters, threats against journalists and other alleged human rights violations in the Islamic republic.

The Human Rights Council will hold the session in the week of Nov. 21 “if possible on Nov. 24,” following a diplomatic request by Germany and Iceland.

Germany sent a letter to the council offices Friday announcing the call for a special session “to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children.”

At least one-third of the council’s 47 member states need to support such a request and the move by Germany suggests it has lined up enough backing.

The protests in Iran, sparked by the Sept. 16 death of a 22-year-old woman after her detention by the country’s morality police, have grown into one of the largest sustained challenges to the nation’s theocracy since the chaotic months after its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Security forces have sought to quash dissent.

After the protests erupted, the United States and European Union imposed additional sanctions on Iran for its brutal treatment of demonstrators and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine. EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on additional sanctions Monday.

At least 328 people have been killed in the Iran protests and 14,825 others arrested, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a monitoring group.

Iran’s government for weeks has remained silent on casualty figures.


(c) 2022, PBS | Associated Press


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