The UN Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran related to protests that began on Sept. 16.
The council adopted its resolution with 25 votes in favour of the resolution, six against, and 16 abstentions.
The resolution put forward by Germany and Iceland calls on Iran to end “discrimination and violence against women and girls in public and private life and in law, and in practice and to uphold all human rights.”
Those include the right to freedom of opinion, expression, and opinion, peaceful assembly, association, and freedom of religion or belief.
Argentina, France, Gabon, Libya, the UK, the US, and Ukraine were among the nations that supported the resolution, while Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan, and Venezuela were among those that voted against.
After addressing the council in the morning, UN Human Rights chief Volker Turk told journalists: “It pains me to see what is currently happening in Iran, with what we can only describe as a very serious human rights crisis.
Turk said what is happening in Iran is particularly driven by women, girls, and young people who feel they want to peacefully protest which are fundamental freedoms.
“And for us, it’s important with the facts on the ground that we have, as you know, over 300 people killed, some 40 children, at least – these are the estimates. And these are probably conservative estimates.”
US Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Michele Taylor said: “This session and this resolution are necessary because of Iran’s demonstrated unwillingness to investigate numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses by members of its security forces and other officials.”
The council rejected oral amendments introduced by China, seen as watering down the resolution with six votes in favour, 25 against, and 15 abstentions.
With the adoption of this resolution, the president of the Human Rights Council is now tasked with appointing members of the newly established Fact-Finding Mission, expected in the coming weeks.
The fact-finding mission will present an oral update to the council at its 53rd session in June next year and then a comprehensive written report at its 55th session in March 2024.