A UN fact-finding mission has called on individuals, groups and organizations to submit information and documentation on the Islamic Republic’s rights violations during ongoing protests.
The mandate was adopted in Resolution S35/1 on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Iran, especially with respect to women and children as well as minorities, in relation to the protests that began in September 2022 after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
On November 24, the Human Rights Council decided to establish an independent international fact-finding mission on Iran's deadly repression of protests, which has killed over 500 civilians, until the end of the fifty-fifth session of the Council taking place in March 2024.
The UN mission, in particular, asked for information concerning violent crackdown on peaceful protests by security forces, including alleged arbitrary arrests and detentions, sexual and gender-based violence, excessive use of force, torture and other inhumane treatment and enforced disappearances, as well as the deaths of hundreds of peaceful protesters and thousands of arrests.
The mission is also seeking documentation on physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women and girls for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and children’s rights violations in relation to the protests, including in raids on schools, and the incarceration of children in ‘psychological centers.'
The call also asked for information on violations of civil society and human rights activists, and reports of charges that carry the death penalty being applied to protesters for offences that are less than the most serious crimes as well as “restrictions on communications affecting landline and mobile telephone usage, including Internet shutdowns and the blocking of social media platforms”.
The head of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic, Sara Hossain
According to the statement issued by the UN Human Rights Council, submissions should be sent as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2023, to enable the mission’s Secretariat to process the information, including any follow-up if necessary. Information and documentation can be submitted in English or Persian.
The global outcry against the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on dissent, manifested through a wide array of human rights violations, is getting louder as the opposition forces are uniting and the world seems to be acknowledging the popular uprising. The deteriorating state of human rights in Iran, particularly unlawful executions and chemical attacks on schoolgirls, on the backdrop of worsening economic conditions, workers’ strikes, and devaluation of national currency rial has led to new moves by the international community.
In addition to Europe mulling over designating the Revolutionary Guards – IRGC – as a terrorist organization, US lawmakers are pushing for additional sanctions on Islamic Republic’s parliament. Packed with hardliners, the body provides the legal framework for Tehran’s security forces to murder, torture, and imprison dissidents, US lawmakers say as a bipartisan coalition is pressuring the Biden administration to sanction nearly all of its members amid the government’s crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
Pushing for sanctions on 227 out of 290 members of Iran’s parliament, a group of 26 US representatives and senators from both parties said that "the Islamic Republic of Iran lacks democratic legitimacy, and the members of its parliament are not true democratic representatives of the Iranian people."
US Senator Marco Rubio
Led by Representative Claudia Tenney (R, NY) and Senator Marco Rubio (R, Fla), the group sent a letter to the State and Treasury Departments. "We urge you to take further actions—and encourage international partners to join us -- to impose much clearer costs on the Iranian regime for the execution of protesters."
On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price expressed Washington’s unequivocal determination to hold the Islamic Republic authorities accountable for their actions, saying “we are using every authority we have at our disposal to pursue those who are responsible for the atrocious human rights abuses that the Iranian regime has perpetrated against its own people since September of last year.”