UN Rights Chief Calls on Iran to Halt Violence Against Protesters

U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk urged Iranian authorities to halt “unnecessary and disproportionate" use of force against protesters.
Newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk gives a statement during a news conference at Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 2, 2022. Turk said, Nov. 24, 2022, Iran was in a full-fledged human rights crisis.
Newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk gives a statement during a news conference at Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 2, 2022. Turk said, Nov. 24, 2022, Iran was in a full-fledged human rights crisis.Reuters

U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk urged Iranian authorities to halt “unnecessary and disproportionate" use of force against protesters.

Speaking at a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, Turk said Iran was in a “full-fledged human rights crisis.”

Turk expressed his support for an investigation into Iran’s crackdown against protests that began two months ago after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

"Accountability is a key ingredient of the pursuit of justice for human rights violations," Turk said.

He told the council that authorities have used live ammunition, tear gas and batons against protesters, and that more than 300 people have been killed since the demonstrations began.

Iran’s representative at the council called the debate about an investigation disgraceful and appalling.

US Sanctions Iranian Officials 

The United States on Wednesday targeted three Iranian security officials under human rights-related sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said, citing Tehran's ongoing crackdown on protesters in Kurdish-majority areas.

The latest U.S. sanctions since demonstrations broke out nationwide in response to the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody in September targeted key officials involved in Iranian authorities' "particularly severe security response" to protests in Kurdish cities in northwestern Iran, the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions hit two officials in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj, Governor Hassan Asgari and Alireza Moradi, the commander of the city's law enforcement forces. The Treasury said Asgari and other officials provided a false cause of death for a 16-year-old protester reportedly killed by security forces.

Also targeted was Mohammad Taghi Osanloo, a commander with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ground forces overseeing another Kurdish city, Mahabad, where additional forces have been deployed in response to the protests, the Treasury said.

Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (KB/VOA)

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