OHCHR / IRAN FACT FINDING MISSION

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The Mission found that State authorities in Iran were responsible for egregious human rights violations in connection with the protests that started on 16 September 2022. OHCHR
Description

STORY: OHCHR / IRAN FACT FINDING MISSION
TRT: 02:35
SOURCE: UNTV CH / OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 18 MARCH 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

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Shotlist

1.Exterior shots : Palais des Nations
2.Wide shot, Room 20
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“Our findings showed based on examination of medical documents and also of pattern evidence of the treatment of women in these situations that Jena Moussa Amin, his death was an unlawful death, and we believe that the state is responsible.”
4. Cut away, Room 20
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“The use of such unnecessary and disproportionate force on largely peaceful protests, resulted in unlawful killings and injuries of protesters resulting in credible figures of 551 deaths, among them at least 49 women and 68 children, in 26 out of the 31 provinces in Iran”
6.Cut away, Room 20
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“Women and men, boys and girls, were viciously beaten and arrested while dancing, chanting, writing slogans, or honking car horns in peaceful acts of solidarity. Upon apprehension, security forces transferred detainees en masse in a coordinated manner to unofficial detention facilities run by the Ministry of Intelligence, Basij and the Revolutionary Guards.”
8.Cut away, Room 20
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“Security forces deprived them from contacting families or lawyers and put them out of the reach of the law, in some cases in conditions amounting to enforced disappearances. To punish, humiliate or extract a confession from them, detainees were often subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, including gang rape and rape with an object, as well as beatings, flogging, or electric shocks, in acts that constitute torture.”
10. Cut away : Room 20
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“Children were subjected to extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and held in detention along with adults. Others were brought to juvenile detention centres or mental health facilities aimed at “reforming” them.”
12.Cut away, Room 20
13.SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“At least nine young men were arbitrarily executed, following hasty and flawed proceedings that disregarded basic fair trial and due process guarantees, creating terror among other protestors. By January this year, Iranian courts had pronounced at least 26 death sentences against persons in relation to the protests.”
14.Cut away, Room 20
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“We are receiving chilling reports on the use by the State of artificial intelligence, including through new mobile apps, to monitor and enforce compliance by women and girls with mandatory hijab rules.”
16.Cut away, Room 20

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Storyline

The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI), was established in November 2022, by the Human Rights Council to investigate “the alleged human rights violations in Iran in connection with the protests that began there on 16 September 2022, especially with respect to women and children.”

Despite the efforts of the Fact-Finding Mission to engage with the Government of Iran, the Government did not grant the Mission access to the country, nor respond to calls for meetings.

The Mission ultimately collected and preserved over 27,000 evidence items. It conducted a total of 134 in-depth interviews with victims and witnesses, including 49 women, and 85 men, both inside and outside the country, and gathered evidence and analysis from experts on digital and medical forensics, and domestic and international law, among others. The Mission closely reviewed the Government of Iran’s official documents, including public statements of officials, alongside 41 reports of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights (received by other UN bodies), and also held exchanges with Iran’s “Special Committee to investigate the 2022 Unrests”.

The Mission found that State authorities in Iran were responsible for egregious human rights violations in connection with the protests that started on 16 September 2022.

The FFM investigation into the fate of Jina Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian- Kurdish woman whose death in custody of the “morality police” sparked the protests that September two years ago, “Our findings showed based on examination of medical documents and also of pattern evidence of the treatment of women in these situations that Jena Moussa Amin, his death was an unlawful death, and we believe that the state is responsible.” the Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission stated.

Following Jina Mahsa’s death, protests were sparked across the country and grew into what we now know as the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. Young women and school children were at the forefront, with many removing their hijab in public places as an act of defiance against long-standing discriminatory laws and practices.

During the protests, the security forces used firearms, including assault rifles, as well as metal pellets and paintball guns, causing deaths and extensive injuries. The use of AK 47s was documented widely, killing large numbers of people within the first few days, and impacting disproportionately on some of the minority areas.

“The use of such unnecessary and disproportionate force on largely peaceful protests, resulted in unlawful killings and injuries of protesters resulting in credible figures of 551 deaths, among them at least 49 women and 68 children, in 26 out of the 31 provinces in Iran,” Sara Hossain said.

There were disproportionately high numbers in minority-populated regions. On just one day, 30 September 2022, “Bloody Friday”, in Zahedan city, Sistan and Baluchistan province, credible information indicates that security forces killed 104 protesters and bystanders, mostly of men and boys, the highest number of deaths documented within a single day during the entire duration of the protests.

The Mission acknowledges the Government’s claim that some 54 security forces were also killed and many others injured. The Mission requested information from the Government about the circumstances of those deaths, in order to investigate these situations last June, but has till today received no response to enable it to assess those claims in accordance with its methodology.

Security forces also carried out mass arbitrary arrests of protesters. The Government of Iran itself announced that 22,000 people were pardoned in connection with the protests, suggesting that many more were detained or charged.

“Women and men, boys and girls, were viciously beaten and arrested while dancing, chanting, writing slogans, or honking car horns in peaceful acts of solidarity. Upon apprehension, security forces transferred detainees en masse in a coordinated manner to unofficial detention facilities run by the Ministry of Intelligence, Basij and the Revolutionary Guards,” the Chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission stated.

The FFM heard from witnesses, while in detention, many protesters, including women and children, were held incommunicado, in inhumane detention conditions, subjected to prolonged solitary confinement which stripped basic facets of their dignity. “Security forces deprived them from contacting families or lawyers and put them out of the reach of the law, in some cases in conditions amounting to enforced disappearances. To punish, humiliate or extract a confession from them, detainees were often subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, including gang rape and rape with an object, as well as beatings, flogging, or electric shocks, in acts that constitute torture,” she said.

“Children were subjected to extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and held in detention along with adults. Others were brought to juvenile detention centres or mental health facilities aimed at “reforming” them,” she said.

Trials were marred by systematic violations of due process. Most persons tried in connection with the protests were brought before Revolutionary Courts, on vague charges of “corruption on earth” or “waging war against God” in relation to protected conduct or speech. Many were denied access to counsel of their choice, and not able to access their case files, or copies of their judgements. Judges manifested clear bias against protesters, systematically dismissing complaints of rape, torture and ill-treatment.

“At least nine young men were arbitrarily executed, following hasty and flawed proceedings that disregarded basic fair trial and due process guarantees, creating terror among other protestors. By January this year, Iranian courts had pronounced at least 26 death sentences against persons in relation to the protests,” Hossain said.

A year and a half on, women and girls are still confronted daily by discrimination in law and in practice affecting virtually all aspects of their private and public lives. “We are receiving chilling reports on the use by the State of artificial intelligence, including through new mobile apps, to monitor and enforce compliance by women and girls with mandatory hijab rules,” she said.

Without holding accountable the perpetrators of the violations in the context of the protests that started on 16 September 2022, the cycle of impunity cannot be broken. Sara Hossain urged the Government of Iran to take immediate and concrete measures to halt executions, promptly release all those arbitrarily detained in connection with the protests, including women arrested for defying the mandatory hijab, cease judicial harassment of victims and their families, provide them with redress, truth, justice and reparations and dismantle and disband the persecutory system of the enforcement of these laws and policies.

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