UN expert on Iran calls for co-ordinated human rights investigation

About 250 people, including 27 children, have been killed since protests broke out last month

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A UN expert on Thursday called for the establishment of an international investigation into Iran's human rights abuses leading up to and following the death of Mahsa Amini, which triggered a wave of popular protests.

In the absence of any domestic accountability channels, the UN special rapporteur on Iran, Javaid Rehman, stressed that the international community has a responsibility to take action and address impunity for human rights abuses perpetrated in the country.

“We have made very strong calls for investigations — independent investigations, impartial investigations — into the death of Mahsa Jina Amini but this has not happened,” he told reporters.

“We have consistently asked for accountability — again, that has not happened. These protests are continuing and protesters are seeking justice; they're seeking accountability.”

Fierce protests swept the country following the death of Amini on September 16. She had reportedly been detained by the morality police for not abiding by the country’s compulsory veiling laws.

Iranian security forces issued a statement claiming that Amini died of a heart attack, though her family has disputed this claim, maintaining that their daughter was in perfect health before she was detained.

Demonstrators rally at the National Mall to protest against the Iranian regime in Washington. AP

Mr Rehman said Amini was not the first woman to have faced such brutality.

“We have received a number of reports about several other girls and women and, in fact, children who have been killed by the state authorities,” he said.

He added that, according to the UN's most recent figures, at least 250 protesters have been killed, 27 of them children.

“Iranian authorities, brutal as they are, repressive as they are, they cannot stop the young people. They will not be able to stop this movement,” he said.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 6:18 PM