Iran under a “full fledged” humanitarian crisis, warns UN rights chief

UN rights chief says ‘full-fledged

Iran is currently witnessing a “full fledged human rights crisis” amid the continuing crackdown by authorities on dissidents protesting against the regime in Tehran, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Chief Volker Turk has issued a stark warning. Turk has further called for “independent, impartial and transparent investigative processes” into human rights violations in Iran, that has led to a humanitarian crisis in the country, during a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The widespread protests by civilians gripped the Islamic Republic following death of 22 year old Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by Iran’s moral police and tortured while in detention for not wearing the headscarf properly. This acted like final straw in the haystack as it triggered mass protests across the country against authoritarian regime, led by women. Since then, the regime has unleashed deadly crackdown on demonstrators, forced detentions and abuse.

More than 14,000 people, including children, have been arrested in connection with the protests, according to Turk. He added that at least 21 of them currently face the death penalty and six have already received death sentences. “We received reports that injured protesters fear going to the hospital for risk of being arrested by security forces,” he said.

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“I’m alarmed by reports that even children suspected of having participated in protests are being arrested at school, hundreds of university students have been summoned for questioning, threatened or suspended in part from entering university campuses. I urge those holding power in Iran fully to respect the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly.”

“No society can be calcified or fossilized as it may stand at a single point in time. To attempt to do so, against the will of its people, is futile,” Turk stressed in his during his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

Tehran has condemned the “appalling and disgraceful” emergency meeting by the UN Human Rights Council. The deputy of the vice president for women and family affairs in Iran, Khadijeh Karimi, represented Iran at Thursday’s session. She condemned the “politically motivated decision of Germany to call for the session, describing it as an orchestrated ploy for ulterior motives.”

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Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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