UNITED NATIONS, Oct 28 (Reuters) – The United States will next week bring UN attention to protests in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody and look for ways to promote credible, independent investigations into cases of human rights abuses in Iran. .
The United States and Albania will hold an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, according to a note outlining the event, seen by Reuters. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi are scheduled to brief.
“The meeting will highlight the ongoing oppression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran,” the note said. “It will identify opportunities to promote credible, independent investigations into the Iranian government’s human rights violations and abuses.”
The UN’s independent investigator on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, is also scheduled to address the meeting, which can be attended by other UN member states and rights groups.
Protests have gripped Iran since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody last month. The unrest has turned into a popular uprising by Iranians from all walks of life, mounting one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their proxies for the unrest.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York accused the United States and its allies of abusing their platform “to promote their political agenda.”
“Given its hypocrisy, use of a double standard, and selective application of human rights, we find the US claims to support Iranian women to be fraudulent and lacking in good faith,” he said.
Rights groups have said at least 250 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested across the country. Women have played a prominent role in the protests, removing and burning veils. The deaths of several teenage girls killed during protests have fueled further anger.
“The meeting will underline the continued illegal use of force against protesters and the Iranian regime’s pursuit of human rights defenders and dissidents abroad for abduction or murder in violation of international law,” read the note about the proposed meeting.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric urged Iranian authorities on Friday to address the “legitimate grievances of the population, including in relation to women’s rights.”
“We condemn all incidents that have resulted in death or serious injury to demonstrators and reiterate that security forces must avoid all unnecessary or disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters,” Dujarric told reporters. “Those responsible must be held to account.”
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Edited by Daniel Wallis
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