UN Fact-Finding Mission Report Finds Evidence of IRI’s Crimes Against Humanity

UN Fact-Finding Mission Report Finds Evidence of IRI’s Crimes Against Humanity 

Washington, DC — Today, on International Women’s Rights Day, the United Nations’ Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI), published its inaugural report. The report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council highlights the regime’s inhumane actions in response to the Woman, Life, Freedom movement that began in September of 2022. 

Sara Hossain, Chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Iran, via UN News
Sara Hossain, Chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Iran

“The mission has [] established that many of the serious human rights violations outlined in the present report 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, that have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a civilian population, namely women, girls and others expressing support for human rights,” the report reads (emphasis added). 

In 2022, Mahsa Amini was killed after being arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. The FFMI report confirms that her death was a result of physical violence while in state custody and highlights the IRI’s obfuscation of the truth.  At the time, Mahsa’s death was met with demonstrations that spread across the country and the world to protest the regime’s brutal behavior and oppressive policies.  This movement, led by women and girls and joined by men of all ages, became known as the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.  Rather than promptly investigating the unlawful death as required by international law, the Islamic Republic responded with violence leading to estimates of more than 550 protesters killed, including at least 68 children. Thousands more were tortured, blinded, raped, and imprisoned.  

“PAAIA welcomes this initial report that highlights what we’ve already known: the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating international law by directly harming its civilian population in response to their free expression,” said Dr. Neda Bolourchi, PAAIA’s Executive Director. “We urge UN Member States to vote in favor of renewing the mandates of both the FFMI and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran at the upcoming Human Rights Council session.  It is imperative that evidence continues to be collected and human rights violations documented.” 

The FFMI report urges the Iranian authorities to “halt all executions immediately and unconditionally release all persons arbitrarily arrested and detained in the context of the protests or for non-compliance with or advocacy against the mandatory hijab.”  It also calls on Iran to stop harassing protesters and their families, provide reparations to victims, and repeal its various gender-discriminatory laws. The Mission also recommends the use of universal jurisdiction as an avenue for legal accountability by both states and the International Court of Justice. Finally, it urges Member States to create victim funds, grant asylum and humanitarian visas to individuals fleeing prosecution, and provide life-saving medical assistance to said victims. PAAIA echoes these recommendations and urges Member States to hold Iran accountable for its ongoing crimes against humanity and gender apartheid. 

“The courage and resilience of women, men and children of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement underscores the critical need for global solidarity with those continuing to fight for equality, justice, the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly and the rights of women and girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the report concludes. 

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