Germany seeks Iranian voice in UN rights council

The UN Human Rights Council mulls launching a probe on Tehran’s crackdown on demonstrators

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to “raise its voice” for Iranians, during a special session Thursday about the deadly crackdown on protests in the country.

“The Iranian demonstrators have no seat at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, they have no voice at the United Nations,” she said ahead of the urgent meeting.

So the council “can raise its voice for the indivisible rights of Iran’s people,” added Baerbock, who will attend the session.

Thursday’s meeting, requested by Germany and Iceland with the backing of more than 50 countries, will discuss whether to launch a high-level international investigation into the Iranian crackdown.

It follows weeks of demonstrations in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

The protests have spread nationwide, growing into a movement challenging the theocracy that has ruled Iran since 1979.

Baerbock said that “day after day, we have had to witness how Iranians have become victims of brutal violence.”

Germany supports those “who demand their rights with courage and dignity,” she said. “Just for making these demands, they are killed by the hundreds, arrested by the thousands, and oppressed by the millions.”

Diplomats at the council will Thursday debate a call for an international investigation of alleged violations linked to the ongoing protests.

Baerbock called for the council to vote in favor of the resolution, saying: “We owe it to the victims.”

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