BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 24. The Iranian Government needs to end violence against peaceful protesters, Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at the 35th special session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, Trend reports.
According to Turk, the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl that was arrested on September 13 for wearing a hijab incorrectly, caused a wave of protests across the country.
“I have a deep admiration for the people of Iran. It pains me to see what is happening in the country. We have seen waves of protests over the past few weeks that have been met with violence and repression. The unnecessary and disproportional use of force has to come to an end. The use of weapons to defeat protesters is a flagrant violation of international law. The old methods of those who are in power simply do not work, in fact, they only aggravate the situation. We are now in a full-fledged human rights crisis,” he said.
As he noted, 14,000 people, including children, were arrested during the protests. University students were summoned for questioning, threatened, and suspended from their studies. Human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers were also prosecuted.
“Now, 21 persons could be sentenced to death and six had already received the death penalty. I urge the government and those in power to listen and acknowledge the deep-seated social economic and political grievance that has been building up. Women and girls, as well as young people, must be able to feel safe,” Turk added.
The UN High Commissioner also urged for an independent and impartial investigation of the protests, the immediate release of those who have been detained, and the establishment of a moratorium on the death penalty.