The American Jewish Committee (AJC) applauded Germany and Iceland for being leading voices calling for a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to address Iran’s abuse of peaceful protesters.
The meeting in Geneva on November 24 will discuss “the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children.” It will be the first time Iran is the subject of a Human Rights Council special session, the AJC noted.
“The Human Rights Council has a responsibility to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its brazen, violent crackdown on its own citizens. The international community’s credibility is on the line,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch said. “We salute Germany and Iceland for mobilizing 44 countries, including the 17 Council members required to ask Council President Federico Villegas to convene the special session on Iran.”
More than 300 people, including 41 children, have been killed by Iranian forces since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the “morality police.” As many as 14,000 have been arrested, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
As the Iranian regime continued its deadly crackdown on protests, AJC lobbied nations to urgently address Iran’s human rights abuses, including holding a series of diplomatic meetings in the US and Europe, as well as an online campaign.
Deutch praised the Biden Administration for ensuring the United States joined with Germany and Iceland in requesting the special session. In an October 25 letter to President Biden, he urged the US to seek a “robust” international community response to “Iran’s egregious actions.”
The AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights recommended that the Council adopt a resolution at the special session creating a new independent international mechanism on Iran to investigate, report publicly, and ensure accountability for extensive human rights violations by the Islamic Republic and strengthen the capacity of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.