AFTERNOON - Human Rights Council Establishes Fact-finding Mission to Investigate Alleged Human Rights Violations in Iran Related to the Protests that Began on 16 September 2022
The Human Rights Council this afternoon established an independent, international fact-finding mission to thoroughly and independently investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022. The Council then closed its special session on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.
In resolution (A/HRC/S-35/L.1), as orally revised, on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children, adopted by a vote of 25 in favour, six against and 16 abstentions, the Human Rights Council strongly deplored the violent crackdown of peaceful protests resulting in the death of hundreds of people, including dozens of children, and a disproportionate number of persons belonging to minorities, and the arrest of thousands in connection with the nation-wide protests following the death in custody of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022.
The Council decided to establish an independent international fact-finding mission, until the end of the fifty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, with the following mandate: to thoroughly and independently investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022, with respect to women and children; to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violations; to collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations and preserve evidence, including in view of cooperation in any legal proceedings; and to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, relevant United Nations entities, human rights organizations and civil society.
The Council requested the fact-finding mission to present an oral update during an interactive dialogue at the Council’s fifty-third session and to present to the Council a comprehensive report on its findings during an interactive dialogue at its fifth-fifth session. The Council called upon the Government of Iran to cooperate fully with the independent international fact-finding mission, to grant unhindered access to the country without any delay, and to provide the members of the fact-finding mission with all information necessary to allow for the proper fulfilment of their mandate. The Council also requested the immediate operationalisation of the mandate, requested the Secretary-General to provide all the resources and expertise necessary to enable the fact-finding mission to fulfil its mandate, and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to provide such administrative, technical and logistical support as was required to implement the provisions of the resolution.
The results of the vote were as follows:
In favour: (25): Argentina, Benin, Czechia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Somalia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
Against (6): Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela.
Abstentions (16): Bolivia; Brazil, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Namibia, Qatar, Senegal, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
Prior to taking action on the resolution, China introduced an oral amendment to the draft resolution, calling for the removal of operational paragraph seven pertaining to the establishment of the fact-finding mission. The amendment was rejected by a vote of six in favour, 25 against and 15 abstentions.
Closing the special session, Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, said the Human Rights Council was a multilateral, democratic body. The differences of opinion during negotiations were legitimate; however, once decisions and resolutions were adopted, they were fully valid. The mechanisms created by the Council had the objective to help States comply with their international obligations in the area of human rights. He hoped that Iran would cooperate with all mechanisms of the Council.
The first meeting of the Human Rights Council’s thirty-fifth special session was held this morning and a summary can be found here. The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s thirty-fifth special session can be found here.
The Council’s regular fifty-second session will be held from 27 February to 31 March 2023.
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