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UN Fact-finding Mission To Probe Human Rights Violations In Iran Over Crackdown On Protests

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The UN Human Rights Council has established a fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran, especially with respect to women and children, related to the violent crackdown on protestors.

More than 300 demonstrators were killed and 14000 others were arrested in nationwide protests that began on September 16 in response to the death of Iranian university student Jina Mahsa Amini while she was in custody of the Islamist nation's so-called morality police.

Jina Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish 22-year-old woman, was taken into custody alleging that a few locks of her hair reportedly appeared under her hijab.

A special session of the Human Rights Council, which was convened to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, adopted a resolution strongly deploring the violent crackdown of peaceful protests resulting in the death of hundreds of people, including 40 children.

Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, told the Council that this tragic event was not isolated, but the latest in a long series of extreme violence committed by Iranian authorities against women. It had sparked nationwide and global outrage. In the past seven days alone, the crackdown on protests had intensified with at least 60 to 70 persons killed, including five children, most of them from Kurdish areas, according to Javaid.

The Council requested the fact-finding mission to present an oral update during an interactive dialogue at the Council's 53rd session and to present to the Council a comprehensive report on its findings during an interactive dialogue at its 55th session.

The Council called upon the Government of Iran to cooperate fully with the independent international fact-finding mission, to grant access to the country, and to provide the members of the fact-finding mission with all information necessary to allow for the proper fulfillment of their mandate.

The Human Rights Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 25 in favor, six against and 16 abstentions. Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela opposed the resolution.

Addressing the special session, Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Iranian authorities to stop using violence and harassment against peaceful protesters, release all those arrested for peacefully protesting, and impose a moratorium on the death penalty.

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