Iran condemns UN’s report on protest crackdown as false, biased

The UN experts said that rather than conducting a proper investigation into Amini’s death, Tehran “actively obfuscated the truth.”

Tehran: Iran has condemned the United Nations report stating that Iran’s violent crackdown in 2022 on peaceful protests and the specific targeting of women and girls were serious rights violations, many amounting to crimes against humanity, reported Al Jazeera.

Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said that the report was built on “baseless claims” and “false and biased information, without a legal basis.”

The protesters swept across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, Mahsa Amini, in custody in September 2022, who was arrested for allegedly violating the strict Islamic dress code for women.

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Moreover, Iranian authorities refused to participate in the experts’ investigation that was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council in November 2022, Al Jazeera reported.

“Not only did the expert committee not establish the truth, but it also deliberately distorted the facts,” Kanaani said.

Earlier on Friday, the independent international fact-finding mission, released their report, stating that many of the violations uncovered “amount to crimes against humanity – specifically those of murder, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts.”

Sara Hossain, who chairs the three-member mission, said that this was part of “a widespread and systematic attack directed against the civilian population in Iran, namely against women, girls, boys and men who have demanded freedom, equality, dignity and accountability.”

The report further called on the authorities to “provide justice, truth and reparations to victims of human rights violations in connection with the protests,” according to Al Jazeera.

Kanaani claimed that the report was “prepared by the Zionist regime (Israel), the US, and other Western countries who were continuing a project of Iranophobia and defamation of Iran.”

He added that these countries were angry at the failure of their interventions during the riots.

A special committee tasked by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi to investigate the protests had “recently sent its final report to the president,” he added but didn’t provide details on its findings, reported Al Jazeera.

According to UN experts, “no fewer than 551” protesters were killed by the security forces, who “used unnecessary and disproportionate force.”

Moreover, dozens of people were blinded, experts said, adding that they also found evidence of extrajudicial killings.

The UN experts said that rather than conducting a proper investigation into Amini’s death, Tehran “actively obfuscated the truth.”

People “who merely danced” or honked car horns were arrested in the crackdown, while hundreds of children, some as young as 10, were also detained.

Reportedly, the report will be presented to the council on March 15, according to Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International reported this week that Iranian authorities have launched a mass campaign to enforce the compulsory hijab laws “through widespread surveillance of women and girls in public spaces and mass police checks targeting women drivers.”

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