Iran crushing protests led to ‘crimes against humanity’


The violent repression of peaceful protests and discrimination against women and girls by Tehran led to serious rights violations, many amounting to crimes against humanity, a U.N. experts probe said on March 8.

Iran was rocked by widespread demonstrations sparked by the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who had been arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress rule for women based on Islamic sharia law.

Anger over her death rapidly expanded into weeks of taboo-breaking protests which saw women tearing off their mandatory headscarves in an open challenge to the Islamic Republic’s system of government under supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The U.N. Human Rights Council held a special session on the situation in November 2022 and voted to create a high-level investigation into the deadly crackdown.

In its first report, the independent international fact-finding mission on Iran said many of the violations “amount to crimes against humanity, specifically those of murder, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts.”

It said the commission of such crimes, in the context of a deprivation of fundamental rights of victims, inflicted with discriminatory intent, “leads the mission to the conclusion that the crime against humanity of persecution on the grounds of gender has been committed.”

The three-member mission comprises chair Sara Hossain of Bangladesh, Shaheen Sardar Ali from Pakistan and Viviana Krsticevic of Argentina.

“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 said in a statement.__Daily Hurriyet