November 21, 2022

UN Seeks Accountability from Iran for Human Rights Violations

The United Nations General Assembly Third Committee – which considers measures on human rights – approved a resolution on November 16th condemning the Iranian government’s human rights abuses and expressing support for the Iranian protesters who are fighting for their basic rights and freedom. According to a UN statement, the resolution “sends a message to the Iranian people that the international community stands with them.” Furthermore, it calls “for independent, impartial, and transparent investigations and accountability for the Government of Iran’s continued human rights violations.” Recently, the ambassadors of Germany and Iceland sent a letter to the UN Office in Geneva requesting a special session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran. The special session is now scheduled to happen on November 24th. 

The international community has also imposed sanctions on Iranian organizations and officials who have facilitated the Islamic Republic’s repression and brutal crackdown on protesters in recent months. Last week, the European Union imposed sanctions on 29 individuals—including four who were directly involved in Jina Mahsa Amini’s arrest—and three organizations who are responsible for the government’s violent response to peaceful protests. Furthermore, in a statement last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions on six senior employees of the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which has been accused of facilitating the Iranian government’s campaign of mass censorship and suppression. Recently, Iranian authorities have coerced individuals into stating publicly that their relatives who died during the protests were not killed by the government’s security forces. Some of these forced confessions have been produced and broadcasted by the IRIB. 

NIAC emphatically supports the resounding calls for an independent, impartial, and transparent investigation into the Iranian government’s crackdown on dissent in recent months. We believe that the UN has a responsibility to investigate and ensure accountability for the Islamic Republic’s violations of the Iranian people’s human rights that are protected under international law. Furthermore, we support the application of targeted sanctions against Iranian leaders and organizations who are responsible for international crimes or have served in some capacity to aid and abet or conceal these crimes. The United Nations and all governments with human rights commitments must enact effective measures to enforce international law and seek to stop the Iranian authorities from continuing the unjust killing, imprisonment, torture, and censorship of the civilian population.

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