November 12, 2022 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised Germany and Iceland for taking the lead in requesting a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the Iranian regime’s deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters.
“The Human Rights Council has a responsibility to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its brazen, violent crackdown on its own citizens. The international community’s credibility is on the line,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “We salute Germany and Iceland for mobilizing 44 countries, including the 16 Council members required to ask Council President Federico Villegas to convene the special session on Iran.”
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, has held a series of diplomatic meetings in the U.S. and Europe, as well as an online campaign, AJC.org/StopIranAbuses, encouraging Human Rights Council member states to urgently address Iran’s human rights abuses.
Deutch also praised the Biden Administration for ensuring the United States joined with Germany and Iceland in requesting the special session. In an October 25 letter to President Biden, the AJC CEO urged the U.S. to seek a “robust” international community response to “Iran’s egregious actions.”
More than 300 people, including 41 children, have been killed by Iranian forces since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the “morality police.” As many as 14,000 have been arrested, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
AJC and its Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights have recommended that the Council adopt a resolution at the Special Session creating a new independent international mechanism on Iran to investigate, report publicly, and ensure accountability for extensive human rights violations by the Islamic Republic and strengthen the capacity of the existing Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
Investigating the regime’s abuses should include the reported arbitrary detention and torture in custody of as many as 1,000 people, including at least 90 human rights defenders since the protests began, and more longstanding rights concerns such as Iran's escalating persecution of religious minority communities including the Baha'i, both inside the country and in other countries, and the regime’s horrific practice of taking Americans and other foreign nationals hostage for political gain.