China tried to block a UN investigation into the crackdown on protests in Iran and received a humiliating defeat

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The Human Rights Council approved the mission to investigate the deaths during the recent mass protests. Beijing tried to neutralize the resolution at the last minute, but its proposal only got six votes out of a possible 47

China tried to block a UN investigation into the crackdown on protests in Iran and received a humiliating defeat

The UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council approved this Thursday to create an independent mission to investigate possible violations of fundamental freedoms committed by the Iranian regime in the protests following the death in September of the young woman Mahsa Amini.

The resolution that includes this new investigation mechanism was approved with 25 votes in favor, 16 abstentions and six against, among the latter that of China, which previously unsuccessfully tried to have the text referring to the creation of the fact-finding mission removed from the resolution.

China tried to block a UN investigation into the crackdown on protests in Iran and got a humiliating defeat

China's amendment to block the investigation was voted for only by Cuba, Eritrea, Indonesia, Pakistan and Venezuela.

This mission will aim to “collect and analyze evidence” of human rights violations in the context of a repression that has already caused more than 300 deaths -among them 40 children- and nearly 15,000 detainees.

The experts that make it up (usually three jurists or other specialists in international law) will present their first results of the investigations at the 53rd session of the Council, in mid-2023.

the UN for that country, Javaid Rehman.

The text, which in addition to China Cuba, Eritrea, Armenia, Pakistan and Venezuela voted against, calls on the Government of Iran “to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls in public and private life”.

China tried to block a UN investigation into the crackdown on protests in Iran and got a humiliating defeat

A group of people lighting a bonfire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran (WANA via REUTERS)

Also call on Tehran to end extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests, torture and other abuses against peaceful protesters who have staged more than two months of protests.

China, a country under scrutiny for his violations of the rights of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, he tried to neutralize the resolution at the last minuterequesting the withdrawal of the paragraph that requested the creation of a fact-finding mission, which forced a first vote on this possible amendment that only got six votes —China, Cuba, Eritrea, Indonesia, Pakistan and Venezuela— out of the 47 council members.

This strategy caused protests from countries such as Germany, one of the main promoters of the repression in Iran being brought to the Council for debate and which denounced China presenting an amendment at the last minute with the intention of deactivating the text.

China tried to block a UN investigation into the crackdown on protests in Iran and got a humiliating defeat

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk delivers a statement during a press conference at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

On behalf of Iran, the international director of the Vice Presidency for Women and the Family, Khadijeh Karimi, intervened to warn that her government “will not recognize this mechanism (the mission of investigation) nor a United Nations mandate doomed to fail.”

He also charged Germany for his leadership in today's session and assured that this country, “since World War II, has not been qualified to speak about women's rights”.

Hours before the vote, the international mission had been supported by Special Rapporteur Rehman, who stressed its importance in addressing the claims of victims in a country where “structural impunity has fueled a pattern of murders, forced disappearances, torture and abuse”.

Rehman stressed that, in line with these old practices, the Iranian state has ordered since the beginning of the protests “violent repression at any cost” , with presidential orders to act “ruthlessly” against protesters.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk , added at the Council meeting that “the unnecessary and disproportionate use of force in Iran must end”, a country that is has plunged into “an open human rights crisis”.

(With information from EFE)

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