October 25, 2022 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO Ted Deutch, in a letter to President Biden, has urged the United States to mobilize the international community to convene a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the Iranian regime’s deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters.
AJC also launched today an online campaign, AJC.org/StopIranAbuses, encouraging individuals to sign a petition calling on the White House to take action detailed in Deutch’s letter to the president.
In the letter, Deutch recalled that President Biden, addressing the UN General Assembly last month, declared that the U.S. stands with the brave women and citizens of Iran as they advocate for their rights and that the Administration has taken other steps including sanctioning the 'morality police' and aiding the protesters’ access to communications technology.
“We applaud you for these actions and call on you to ensure that the response of the international community to Iran’s egregious actions is similarly robust,” Deutch wrote.
More than 200 people, including 23 children, have been killed by Iranian forces since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the ‘morality police.’
AJC and its Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights are recommending that the Biden Administration lead efforts to mobilize at least 16 of the 47 member states of the Council required to request the convening of a special session on Iran. The U.S. should ensure that the Council adopts 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, the AJC letter stated.
Mobilizing U.S. partners and allies “would be an important and necessary first step demonstrating clearly the impact of U.S. participation in and membership on the Human Rights Council,” Deutch wrote.