German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged the UN Human Rights Council to “raise its voice” for Iranians, during a special session Thursday about the deadly crackdown on protests in the country.
“The Iranian demonstrators have no seat at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, they have no voice at the United Nations,” she said ahead of the urgent meeting.
So the council “can raise its voice for the indivisible rights of Iran’s people,” added Baerbock, who will attend the session.
Thursday’s meeting, requested by Germany and Iceland with the backing of more than 50 countries, will discuss whether to launch a high-level international investigation into the Iranian crackdown.
It follows weeks of demonstrations in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.
The protests have spread nationwide, growing into a movement challenging the theocracy that has ruled Iran since 1979.
Baerbock said that “day after day, we have had to witness how Iranians have become victims of brutal violence”.
Germany supports those “who demand their rights with courage and dignity,” she said. “Just for making these demands, they are killed by the hundreds, arrested by the thousands, and oppressed by the millions.”
Diplomats at the council will Thursday debate a call for an international investigation of alleged violations linked to the ongoing protests.
Baerbock called for the council to vote in favour of the resolution, saying: “We owe it to the victims.”
“Every vote counts,” she said.
“Our message is: We are not just looking on. We go where we can use our vote to do something for the rights of Iranians.”
According to the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights, more than 400 people have been killed across Iran during the violent suppression of protests.
The UN says thousands of peaceful protesters, including women, children and journalists, have also been arrested.