A group of 43 civil and human rights organizations and NGOs have called on UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on ongoing rights violations in Iran.

In a joint statement on Monday, they expressed deep concerns about the Iranian authorities’ mobilization of their well-honed machinery of repression to ruthlessly crackdown on the current uprising, sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Stressing the urgency for the establishment of an independent, investigative and accountability mechanism, they said The United Nations Human Rights Council should act promptly considering the gravity of crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations committed in Iran and the prevailing systemic impunity.

According to evidence gathered by a number of the signatories of the statement, there is a harrowing pattern of Iranian security forces deliberately and unlawfully firing live ammunition and metal pellets, including birdshot, at protesters and bystanders including children.

Voicing concerns over the growing numbers of protesters and bystanders killed, they said the number of casualties is likely to be much higher than the reported 200 deaths, including at least 23 identified children.

Since 18 September 2022, over one thousand protesters, human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists, university students and school children have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, some already charged with “acting against national security,” describing the “cycle of deadly repression” alarmingly similar to previous waves of mass protests including in December 2017-January 2018, November 2019, July 2021, November 2021 and May 2022.

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