Today is Nowruz for people in Iran; the arrival of a new year, when families gather together around their haftsin to celebrate renewal and hope. Yet hundreds of families in Iran mark Nowruz at fresh graves and end this year without their loved ones, who have been brutally taken by the Islamic Republic authorities. Many, including children, will enter the new year bearing physical and physiological wounds of torture.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report, which concludes that the scale and gravity of violations committed in the context of recent protests ‘point to the possible commission of international crimes, notably … crimes against humanity’. After months of protests, sparked by state violence against women, the authorities are adopting more laws and policies that deprive women and girls of the most basic services and rights, making their daily lives unbearable, if not impossible – all with the aim of coercing them into compliance with forced veiling.
Arbitrary detentions, discrimination against minorities, torture, sham trials, and arbitrary executions continue, while the authorities restrict an entire people’s access to the internet to conceal and facilitate their crimes.
Despite unimaginable suffering, the courageous people of Iran continue to demand freedom, justice and change. As one of the blinded protesters told us: ‘even with eyes blinded we can see the spark of hope’. We urge this Council to stand with the people of Iran by adopting this session’s resolution, which, in a welcome move, contains substantive language, and by renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran.
The path for hope starts with justice and accountability.