UN at emergency meeting: Iran must stop unnecessary use of force

On Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council held an emergency meeting on whether to conduct an investigation into Iran’s handling of protests in the country.

The meeting began at 10 a.m. in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Here, the council’s new and Austrian head, Volker Türk, opened the meeting with a harsh criticism of the current situation in Iran.

“The unnecessary and unjustified use of force must stop now”.

“The old methods and the fortress mentality possessed by those in power simply do not work. We are currently in a full-scale human rights crisis”, says Volker Türk.

The UN chief also states that he has offered to visit Iran.

“I have offered to travel to Iran and I have offered a greater presence in Iran – we have no office there. But so far I haven’t received any response”, says Volker Türk, who has had his job for just over a month.

Thursday’s meeting was held at the request of Germany and Iceland, which has also received support for the initiative from more than 50 countries.

The Council must primarily decide whether to launch a high-level international investigation into the events in Iran.

There have been large demonstrations in Iran since mid-September.

The demonstrations in Iran have arisen in the wake of the death of a 22-year-old woman.

The woman, Mahsa Amini, lost consciousness in the custody of Iran’s morality police and was in a coma for three days before dying on Friday 16 September.

She was arrested because, according to the authorities, her hijab did not cover her hair well enough. The moral police have been blamed by several for her death.

According to the Norwegian-based human rights group Iran Human Rights, at least 416 people – including 51 children – have been killed during the protests.

Volker Türk says on Thursday that the number of dead is over 300, including at least 40 children. In addition, around 14,000 must have been arrested.

In Amnesty International’s Danish branch, the head of politics, Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, says that it is positive that the UN Human Rights Council is now taking action to counter the violence in Iran.

“There is an urgent need for the international community to step in and break the spiral of violence that the Iranian regime has initiated against peaceful protesters who are exercising their freedom of expression”, he says and emphasizes:

“Amnesty International has pushed for exactly this reaction from the Human Rights Council – among other things with one million signatures on a global level”.

Source: Politiken.dk – Forsiden by politiken.dk.

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