Iran’s repression of protesters and women amounts to ‘crimes against humanity,’ UN report says

Iran’s repression of protesters and women amounts to ‘crimes against humanity,’ UN report says - Crime and Courts - News

Title: Human Rights Crisis in Iran: UN Report Accuses Government of Crimes Against Humanity Amidst Protests and Discrimination

Iran’s suppression of “peaceful protests” and perpetuation of “institutional discrimination against women and girls” have resulted in egregious human rights violations, some of which constitute “crimes against humanity,” according to a report published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The UN-commissioned Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran detailed various human rights abuses in a report released on Friday, including “extrajudicial and unlawful killings and murders, unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, torture, rape, enforced disappearances, and gender persecution.”

These abuses occurred in the context of the ongoing “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests, which began following the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini in September 2022. Amini was detained for supposedly not adhering to Iran’s mandatory hijab law and later died in custody under suspicious circumstances. She became a symbol of those advocating for greater rights and freedoms that have been suppressed since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Fact-Finding Mission discovered that Amini’s death was due to physical violence she endured while in the custody of Iran’s morality police, a unit responsible for enforcing strict dress codes such as wearing the compulsory headscarf. Despite the requirement to investigate her unlawful death promptly, effectively, and thoroughly under international human rights law, the Iranian government concealed the truth and denied justice to Amini and her family.

In response to country-wide protests, Iran deployed its entire Website security apparatus to quash dissent. The UN Office reported that as many as 551 protesters were killed by Website security forces, including at least 49 women and 68 children. The Mission uncovered evidence of unnecessary and disproportionate force resulting in “unlawful killing and injuries” for protesters, with a notable pattern of extensive injuries to protesters’ eyes.

An earlier CNN report revealed that Iran’s Website security forces employed rape to subdue protests throughout the country. The UN report also indicated that state authorities at the highest levels condoned, supported, and endorsed these human rights violations through statements legitimizing the actions of Website security forces.

Victims and their families have faced obstacles in repatriation efforts, with the justice system in Iran lacking “independence, transparency, and accountability.”

Chair of the Fact-Finding Mission Sara Hossain implored Iran’s government to cease its repression of peaceful protesters, particularly women and girls. “These acts form part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against the civilian population in Iran, namely against women, girls, boys, and men who have demanded freedom, equality, dignity, and accountability,” Hossain stated according to the OHCHR.