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Iran condemns criticism of violent repression of protests

Iran has strongly condemned the report by the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Experts on the violent repression of protests in the country in 2022. "This silly report is unobjective, biased and incorrect," Foreign Office spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Saturday, according to the Isna news agency. The spokesman accused the commission of having been commissioned and financed by Western states, particularly Germany, to spread "such lies".

The report published in Geneva on Friday comes from the independent commission of experts set up by the UN Human Rights Council at the end of 2022 to clarify the events - partly at the instigation of Germany. The report dealt with the protests following the death of the young Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini in September 2022, which were the most serious unrest in the 45-year history of the Islamic Republic.

The experts wrote that in their opinion, the violent repression of peaceful protests and the institutional discrimination against women in Iran constituted crimes against humanity in some cases. People had been killed during and after the protests, disproportionate violence had been used, people had been arbitrarily deprived of their freedom and there had been torture and rape, they said.

Amini was arrested by the notorious vice squad because her obligatory headscarf had slipped slightly. Shortly afterwards, she died in police custody. In its report, the expert commission also came to the conclusion that physical violence after the arrest led to her death. Tehran has always categorically denied this and claimed that she died of natural causes, which many Iranians found implausible.

Shortly after her death, the 22-year-old became the icon of a nationwide women's movement. The "San, Sendegi, Asadi" - Woman, Life, Freedom - protests not only led to more and more women ignoring the mandatory headscarf law, but also to harsh criticism of the Islamic system. This criticism was also voiced again in last week's parliamentary elections. Almost 60 percent of Iranians nationwide - and even over 75 percent in the capital Tehran - boycotted the election.

©Keystone/SDA

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