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UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk said Iran is facing What he described as a full-blown human rights crisis, as a result of the state’s “violent repression” of protests over the past eight weeks.
Türk estimated the number of people arrested at least 14,000, including children.
He said, during an emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held in Geneva, that Iran’s attempts to delegitimize the protests are “the stereotyped version of tyranny.”
He called on Iran to immediately release the detainees and support an independent investigation into human rights violations.
German Foreign Minister Analina Baerbock said that Iran is violating, by violating the rights of its people, the rights and values of the United Nations as well. She said Iran had repeatedly ignored calls to end the violence.
The German minister said: “We called on Iran on several occasions to respect these rights, and to stop the violent crackdowns on protesters, stop bloodshed, arbitrary killings, mass arrests and the death penalty.”
She added, “The only response we have received is more violence and more killing, as well as Iran’s continued refusal to grant the United Nations Special Rapporteur permission to enter the country, as we heard.”
“For this reason, we now propose that an independent and impartial mechanism be established by the United Nations to investigate these human rights violations so that those responsible are held accountable, because impunity prevents justice from being served,” she added.
Iran responded by saying that the West lacked the moral credibility to preach to others about human rights.
Khadija Karimi, Iran’s representative to the Human Rights Council, defended her country’s human rights record.
“The Human Rights Council is once again being exploited by some arrogant countries in their position of hostility to a sovereign country and a member of the United Nations that is fully committed to its obligations to promote and protect human rights,” Karimi said during the council’s meeting on Thursday.
“It is appalling and shameful to turn the common cause of human rights into a tool for the political purposes of a certain group of Western countries,” she added.
The council is discussing a proposal by a group of fifty countries led by Germany and Iceland for a new investigative and fact-finding mission to look into alleged abuses committed since the wave of protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish girl, on September 16 during Arrested by the morality police in Iran.
On the other hand, a member of the Iranian Basij forces was killed by “supporters of the counter-revolution” in the Kurdish-majority Marivan province, according to the Iranian Fars news agency.
Iranian government officials blamed the protests that rocked the country, which they described as “riots”, on “foreign enemies” in the West, whom they accuse of instigating lawbreaking.
Fars said, “Ali Fathi was killed on Wednesday evening by mercenaries working for the enemy and the counter-revolution, because he was a member of the Basij forces,” referring to the volunteer militia whose members are being recruited under the supervision of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Fares added that the security official in the province, Mohammad Rezaei, said that Fatehi was “killed by a bullet from behind.”
State media says more than 30 members of the security forces have been killed since the protests erupted last September, most of them by gunfire or stabbing to death.