American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to establish an “independent international fact-finding mission” on Iran that will “thoroughly and independently investigate” human rights violations committed by the regime in its deadly crackdown on escalating protests since September 16.

“The Human Rights Council was created precisely for addressing the egregious human rights abuses the Iranian regime is committing with impunity,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “Today’s Council decision reflects the international community’s outrage at the regime’s conduct, its commitment to listen to the brave Iranian people, and its determination to hold accountable those responsible for the pervasive violence.”

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 25 to 6 with 16 abstentions at today’s Council special session on “the deteriorating human rights situation” in Iran. Seventeen council members, led by Germany and Iceland, had requested the special session on November 14. It was the first time since the Council’s establishment in 2006 that the UN’s principal body on human rights convened in a special session dedicated to Iran.

Protests erupted across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody after she was detained by  the so-called “morality police,”  for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. The Council resolution adopted today calls on Iran to end its “persistent discrimination against women and girls,” and on the fact-finding mission to focus on violations affecting women and children.

“Mounting reports of the Iranian authorities’ extreme brutality are appalling,” said Deutch. “Iran’s leaders have scant regard for their peoples’ rights, they are unwilling to heed their calls for justice, and international pressure is essential if their abuses are to be curbed.”

The regime has killed hundreds of peaceful protesters, callously targeted young children, and compelled victims’ families to lie about the circumstances of their deaths.  

The resolution calls for the international fact-finding mission investigators to “collect, consolidate and analyze evidence of such violations, and to preserve evidence,” including to facilitate future legal proceedings. The mission will report back to the Council on its findings in July 2023 and March 2024.

AJC thanked the 25 countries on the 47-Member Council that voted in favor of the resolution, including Argentina, Benin, Czechia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Somalia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.

Since the beginning of the protests in Iran in September, AJC has called international attention to the brutal measures employed by the Iranian regime against its own people. In a series of diplomatic meetings in the U.S. and Europe, and letters to Human Rights Council member states, AJC encouraged them to convene a special session of the Council to address Iran’s human rights abuses.

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