UN to investigate Iran human rights violations?
DW, 24 Nov 2022
The UN Human Rights Council was considering an international investigation into the human rights situation in Iran. United Nations Human Rights Chief Volker Turk warned on Thursday, Iran is, "in a full-fledged human rights crisis." He was speaking at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on what it called "the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran" in Geneva.
Turk demanded an end to the "unnecessary" use of force against protesters in Iran. "From what we could gather, around 14,000 people, including children, have so far been arrested in the context of the protests. This is a staggering number," he said, adding: "The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force must come to an end. The old methods and the fortress mentality of those who wield power simply don't work." Germany and Iceland had called for the session on human rights violations when they submitted an official request last week, supported by 44 states so far. Iran's deputy of the vice president for women and family affairs, Khadijeh Karimi, said Western countries "lack the moral credibility to preach others on human rights."
For nearly two months now, Iran has been witnessing women-led protests denouncing the traditional regime. Although Iran would likely refuse to cooperate with a UN investigation, there are still steps the international community can take to support protesters, Lucy McKernan, the deputy director for United Nations at Human Rights Watch's Geneva office, told DW "We can't underestimate how showing solidarity to the protests on the ground can give them a sense of support from outside of the country at a time when they are facing this brutal crackdown," she said. "The international community can offer sanctuary to those fleeing prosecution in Iran."
What is Germany's position on the Iran protests?
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock flew to Geneva to call for a condemnation of the Iranian leadership for its actions against demonstrators, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.
"The Iranian demonstrators do not have a seat on the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and they do not have a voice at the UN," Baerbock said in a statement issued before she traveled.
"Today the UN Human Rights Council can raise its voice for the indivisible rights of the people in Iran. Today, the members of the Human Rights Council can make a stand against the injustice, the beatings and the shots with which the Iranian regime is trying to destroy peaceful protest."
Germany's top diplomat vowed to concentrate efforts on supporting those who are standing up for their rights with "courage and dignity."
"For more than two months, we have had to witness on daily basis how Iranians have been victims of brutal violence and state tyranny," Baerbock said.
She stressed that Iran had consistently denied UN envoys entry into the country, and called on Council members to vote for a resolution on creating an independent mechanism to investigate human rights violations.
"We owe it to the victims," she said.
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