Twenty-six Iranian rights groups expressed fury over the appointment of the Islamic Republic as the chair of the UN Human Rights Council 2023 Social Forum.

A group of doctors, lawyers and civil activists such as the Kian Foundation and the Simourq Association are among the signatories to the letter to Vaclav Balek, the head of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023.

They defiantly condemned the appointment of Iran's UN ambassador Ali Bahraini as the forum’s chair after Vaclav Balek said in a statement earlier this month that he had decided to appoint Bahraini following the receipt of a nomination from regional coordinators.

The forum to be held in Geneva on November 2 and 3 will focus on the contribution of science, technology, and innovation to the promotion of human rights including in the context of post-pandemic recovery.

In their letter, the signatories stated that according to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, the violence of the security forces of the Islamic Republic during the nationwide protests led to the death of hundreds, including dozens of children and women, while hundreds of other protesters were seriously injured, and thousands were arrested.

Earlier, UN Watch launched a petition to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to stop the Islamic Republic from chairing the forum and said there were still six months left to cancel the appointment.

The Islamic Republic was also voted out of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in December for policies contrary to the rights of women and girls. It is in addition, also investigating rights abuses in Iran in a special committee, while simultaneously allowing the regime to chair a key rights event.

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