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UN rights council asked to hold special session on Iran

AFP . Geneva
12 Nov 2022 15:23:38 | Update: 12 Nov 2022 15:23:38
UN rights council asked to hold special session on Iran
A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022 — AFP Photo

The United Nations Human Rights Council was asked Friday to hold an urgent session on Iran, which has been rocked by weeks of deadly protests.

In a letter addressed to the council president, the German and Icelandic ambassadors to the UN in Geneva requested "a special session ... to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children." 

In the letter, seen by AFP, the ambassadors asked for the session to be held on November 24 if possible, or another day that week.

The diplomatic missions said the request was supported by 44 countries, but did not specify how many of those were members of the council.

The support of 16, more than a third of the 47 council members, is required to convene a special session outside the three regular ones held each year.

The request comes after Iran has seen eight weeks of protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after her arrest for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

More than 300 people have been killed in the brutal crackdown on the protests, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR), as the demonstrations have grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the 1979 fall of the shah.

Thousands of peaceful protesters have also been arrested, according to UN rights experts, including many women, children, lawyers, activists and journalists.