Germany summons Iranian ambassador over Mahsa Amini protests

EU says it is considering all options over woman's death and related crackdown

A demonstration against the death of Mahsa Amini in Berlin, Germany. Reuters
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Germany on Monday summoned the Iranian ambassador over what it called a brutal response to protests against the country’s morality police.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government said it was bringing the matter before the UN’s human rights council after a 10th night of unrest over the death of Mahsa Amini.

The European Union separately said it would “consider all the options at its disposal” to address the way Iranian security forces have responded to the demonstrations.

Western governments accuse Iran of using violence to break up protests, unfairly detaining protesters and blocking internet access to suppress freedom of expression.

The protests were triggered by the death of Amini, 22, while being held by Iran’s morality police after she was arrested for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly. Authorities called it an unfortunate incident.

“We will now consult very quickly within the EU on how we will respond not only to the death but also to the brutal actions of the Iranian police,” a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

“I can also confirm that we have today summoned the Iranian ambassador.”

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the response of Iran’s security forces to the protests had been disproportionate and resulted in deaths and injuries.

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Europe expects Iran to stop its crackdown on protests, ensure internet access, clarify the number of arrests and deaths, release all non-violent protesters and ensure due process for those still detained, Mr Borrell said.

“The European Union will continue to consider all the options at its disposal ... to address the killing of Mahsa Amini and the way Iranian security forces have responded to the ensuing demonstrations,” he said.

The US last week announced sanctions on what it described as seven senior figures in Iran’s security apparatus, including the heads of the morality police and intelligence services.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said he had spoken to Amini’s family to promise a steadfast investigation, but accused the West of double standards given previous high-profile incidents in the US.

The exchanges come as European powers try to finalise a deal between Iran, the US and other members of the UN Security Council to limit Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

A poll for The National published on Monday revealed that a majority of people in Britain regard Iran’s nuclear ambitions as a threat.

Updated: September 26, 2022, 1:56 PM