GENEVA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Germany and Iceland on Friday filed a request on behalf of dozens of countries to hold a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the ongoing protests in Iran later this month, according to a document.
According to the letter signed by the ambassadors of the two countries, the request asked the session to “address the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly with regard to women and children”.
Anti-government protests began in September after the death of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by morality police for allegedly flouting the strict dress code imposed on women by the Islamic Republic. They have since turned into a popular revolt and rights groups say hundreds of protesters have been killed in the government crackdown. The government blamed Amini’s death on pre-existing medical conditions.
At least a third of voting members of the UN Human Rights Council backed the proposal, as is required for meetings outside the body’s normal agenda, meaning its convening is a formality.
Dozens of others have also registered, the German diplomatic mission in Geneva said, bringing the total number of supporters to 44. It did not immediately provide the list.
The letter requested that the meeting be held on November 24.
Iran opposed convening the meeting in private meetings, diplomats told Reuters. Its diplomatic mission in Geneva did not respond to an email response to comment on the debate scheduled for Friday.
The Rights Council has no legal powers per se, but its deliberations enhance the examination of alleged abuses and sometimes the evidence gathered during its investigations is then used in international legal cases.
Reporting by Emma Farge; edited by Jonathan Oatis
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.