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MRG Urges Council Action Amid Escalating Civil Society Violations in Iran Following Jina Mahsa Amini’s Anniversary

27 September 2023

This message was delivered on 26 September 2023 by Carl Söderbergh during general debate at the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Thank you Mister President,

Minority Rights Group (MRG) calls on the Council’s attention to an escalation of violations against civil society in Iran, surrounding the anniversary of Jina Mahsa Amini’s death on 16th September, which sparked nationwide protests last year.

State apparatuses have intensified pressure on those connected to the demonstrations through threats, surveillance, arrests, prosecutions and violence. Minorities, women, human rights defenders, lawyers, and families seeking justice, truth or remembrance for victims are amongst those targeted.

Between June and July this year alone, arrests of Kurds increased by 70%, indicating a targeted campaign against particular minority groups. MRG is alarmed by the enhanced surveillance and armed activities in Kurdish regions of Iran. Over the anniversary weekend security forces opened fire against protestors in Kurdish cities. With the establishment of several new security operating bases and the deployment of further military personnel to Kurdish areas, MRG is concerned that waves of arrests and violence against minorities will continue.

The scale and gravity of civic repression, and the absence of accountability, call for sustained engagement by the Human Rights Council to challenge impunity for gross violations of human rights and international law. The Islamic Republic must end its persecution of protestors, rights defenders, women and minority communities, and deliver justice and reparation for those affected.

I thank you.

Watch the recording

Photo: Screenshot from the advocacy statement video.