View this profile on Instagram

Impact Iran (@impactiran) • Instagram photos and videos

10/04/2024 Advocacy, Dr. Javaid Rehman, English, HRC 55, Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, Joint Initiatives, Special Rapporteur

Recap: 55th Session of the Human Rights Council

From February 26 to April 5 2024, the United Nations Human Rights Council held its 55th regular session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The session was particularly significant as the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (“FFMI”) issued and presented its first report, concluding its first year of investigation. The Mission established “that many of the serious human rights violations” it has investigated in relation to the  protests that erupted following the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, who was killed while in police custody on 16 September 2022 “amount to crimes against humanity”.[1] The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, also presented his report to the HRC, detailing his assessment of the status of implementation of recommendations he has made during his 6-year tenure.  Demonstrating increasing support for accountability in Iran, an absolute majority of HRC member states – half of them from Africa, Latin America and Asia – voted to renew the two mandates for an additional year. The session was also marked by a joint statement of 50+ UN Member States from various regions, acknowledging the FFMI’s findings and urging Iranian authorities to take steps to eliminate all forms “of gender-based discrimination, end the cycle of violence, cease the suppression of protests and open civic space to allow for dissenting voices, and allow journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders to carry out their work freely.” Civil society also featured prominently in the session, as several Iranian human rights organizations, including Impact Iran coalition members, held public events featuring UN human rights experts, human rights defenders as well as Iranian victims of human rights violations.

[1] FFMI report para 108

Opening of the Session: High Level Segment

February 26

The 55th session of the Human Rights Council opened on February 26 with statements from various member states on the current human rights landscape, during which several states drew attention to the human rights situation in Iran:

Austria“And in Iran young people, especially women, are fighting for their rights. Their desperate calls for freedom are being met with repression and violence.”
Argentina“That is why we once again demand that the Government of Iran cooperate fully with the Argentine Justice, allowing the people who have been accused of participating in the brutal attack against the AMIA to be tried by the competent courts.”(“Es por ello que exigimos una vez más al Gobierno de Irán a cooperar de manera plena con la Justicia argentina, permitiendo que las personas que han sido acusadas de participar del brutal atentado contra la AMIA sean juzgadas por los tribunales competentes”.)
Finland“Finland will continue to call for the respect for human rights globally, including in Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar and Nicaragua.”
New Zealand“In Iran, the breadth of human rights violations is alarming, including restrictions on the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, persecution of women and religious and ethnic minorities and the use of the death penalty.”
Czechia“People in other countries like Iran, Afghanistan, DPRK, Myanmar, Belarus or China are also suffering from human rights violations.” 
Canada“We are deeply concerned by the ongoing attacks on the rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ communities. In Afghanistan and Iran, women, girls and minorities are systematically targeted and oppressed. We must hold the Taliban accountable for their actions. We reiterate our support for the work of the Fact-Finding Mission on Iran.”
Slovenia“But there are many other ongoing conflicts and crises around the world that negatively affect human rights. They too require our full attention. To name but a few: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iran, Mali, Myanmar and Sudan.” 
Australia“We also remain gravely concerned about the human rights situations in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the DPRK.”
Albania“And in this context, we reaffirm our commitment to support the independent international fact-finding mission on Iran established by the Human Rights Council.”
Germany“None of us wants to be arrested for showing our hair in public. No woman, and, I would guess, no man.Yet, in October of last year, in Iran, they went after Armita. A young woman who was brutalised for not wearing a hijab on the metro. She died after weeks in a coma.They went after Zeynep. A schoolgirl who was arrested at a protest with her friends – and raped by a guard.A schoolgirl. Like my daughter. Like your daughter. These are just two people’s fates. Two lives. But there are thousands whose fate we don’t know for sure.In the autumn of 2022, brave Iranian women and men started the Woman – Life – Freedom protests. Thousands took to the streets. Thousands were arrested.The Fact-Finding Mission established by this Council has investigated the repression, the violence, the crimes committed in Iran since the beginning of the protests. It is collecting and preserving the evidence. It is giving the victims –women, girls – a voice.This is why we are calling for your support to extend the mission’s mandate, so that it can finish its job.Because that is the whole purpose of us gathering here, of this Human Rights Council:For the international community to show that a life is a life. An Iranian woman’s life is a life. A Russian woman’s life is a life. A Palestinian woman’s life is a life. An Israeli woman’s life is a life. A Chinese woman’s life is a life. A South Sudanese woman’s life is a life. A German woman’s life is a life. Human rights are universal.”

Oral Update from High Commissioner Volker Türk

March 4

On March 4, High Commissioner Volker Türk presented to the council his global update on human rights in the world, during which he addressed human rights in Iran, in particular the situation of women and girls and the Hijab and Chastity Bill: “Iran’s legislative election three days ago was Iranians’ first opportunity to vote since the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests of 2022 and 2023. It took place in a country that has been deeply divided by the Government’s repression of the rights of women and girls. People who participated in the protests have been persecuted, imprisoned on long sentences and in some cases, put to death. The draft Bill on “Supporting the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab”, if adopted, would impose severe punishments for acts that should not be deemed criminal in any country. In my ongoing engagement with the Iranian authorities, I have urged immediate reforms to uphold the rights of all Iranians, including the right of women to make their own choices, and an immediate moratorium on the death penalty.”

SR on Iran Javaid Rehman publishes his final report to the HRC

March 5

On March 5 2024, Javaid Rehman, issued his final submission to the HRC in his capacity as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report evaluates the current human rights issues and trends in Iran up to December 2023 and assesses the status of implementation of recommendations made by his mandate throughout his 6-year tenure.

In his report, the Special Rapporteur expresses regret over Iran’s continued refusal to grant his mandate access to the country, hindering direct assessment and engagement. He stresses that his mandate provided at least 35 recommendations over the past 6 years “to the authorities calling for the death penalty to be abolished and laws that are incompatible with the right to life repealed”.[1] Yet the Special Rapporteur regrets “the failure” of the Iranian authorities to address and implement these recommendations fully. He also expresses in his report alarm “at the worrying increase in the number of persons executed during his mandate”, reporting that “in 2018, there were at least 253 executions, in 2019 280 executions, in 2020 267 executions, in 2021 330 executions, which increased to 582 executions in 2022  and, shockingly, to 834 executions in 2023.”[2] He is also alarmed by the substantial increase in drug-related executions, which disproportionately affect minorities and those in poverty, reporting in 2018 24 drug-related executions, “in 2019, 30;  in 2020, 25;  in 2021, 126;  in 2022 256;  and in 2023 471.”[3] The Special Rapporteur also regrets that “the Iranian authorities have continued to implement the death penalty for persons who were aged less than 18 at the time their offences were committed.” He reports that  in 2018, “there were reportedly at least seven executions of child offenders,  four in 2019,  four in 2020,  two in 2021,  three in 2022  and at least one in 2023.”[4]

Moreover, the Special Rapporteur points in his report to systemic violations of fair trial rights, including the use of torture to extract confessions and the denial of access to legal representation. He notes that revolutionary courts, known for systematically falling far short of administering fair trials, “are responsible for issuing the vast majority of the death penalty sentences, including thousands of summary and arbitrary executions.” He adds “that during the period 2010–2020, of 6,033 executions, 3,619 (59 per cent) were based on death sentences issued by the revolutionary courts.”[5]

The Special Rapporteur stresses that despite his recommendations issued throughout his mandate, “calling upon the authorities to eliminate in law and in practice all forms of persecution of and discrimination and violence against women and girls […] He regrets that the Iranian authorities have effectively maintained a system of gender apartheid and insisted on draconian laws, policies and practices that increasingly violate the human rights and human dignity of Iranian girls and women.”[6]

Additionally, during his six-year mandate, the Special Rapporteur has continuously reported on the alarming nature of violations perpetrated against ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities. He specifies that ethnic minorities, including the Kurds, Baluchis, Ahvazi Arabs, and the Azerbaijani Turks, “have consistently been harassed, targeted and victimized, denied their fundamental rights to equality and non-discrimination, and deprived of their linguistic and cultural rights and identity.”[7]

Finally, the Special Rapporteur concludes that “[c]ontinuing impunity and the absence of accountability remains a noticeable but unfortunate feature of the constitutional, political and legal system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He “regrets that none of his recommendations relating to ending institutional impunity and ensuring accountability for serious violations of human rights has been implemented.”[8]

The persistence of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate is essential, as it plays a crucial role in documenting and reporting on the human rights situation in Iran, maintaining a detailed record of violations and trends. This continuous monitoring ensures that the wide spectrum of human rights challenges within the country does not escape international scrutiny and serves as a persistent reminder of Iran’s obligations under international human rights law. The meticulous and authoritative documentation provided by the Special Rapporteur’s reports creates an invaluable archive of information that can be used to inform international dialogue, policy decisions, and other human rights mechanisms. Moreover, the existence of the mandate sends a clear message to Iranians that the international community remains vigilant and committed to highlighting their struggles and working for the realization of their human rights.

[1] UNSR report, para 59.

[2] UNSR report, para 61.

[3] UNSR report, para 63.

[4] UNSR report, para 64.

[5] UNSR report para 69

[6] UNSR report, para 70.

[7] UNSR report, para 78.

[8] UNSR report, para 81.

FFM on Iran publishes groundbreaking report to the HRC

March 8

On March 8 2024, the FFMI published its first comprehensive report, concluding one year of investigation into human rights violations related to the protests that erupted following the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, who died while in police custody on 16 September 2022 following her arrest by the so-called morality police for “improper” hijab.

In a groundbreaking step toward accountability, the FFMI establishes “that many of the serious human rights violations” it has investigated “amount to crimes against humanity, specifically those of murder, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts, that have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a civilian population, namely women, girls and others expressing support for human rights.”[1]

The mission explicitly establishes state responsibility, asserting that it is satisfied ‘that the acts [outlined in the report] were planned, directed and organized, by and involved the coordinated action of different State entities and the investment of a considerable amount of State resources.”[2] Notably, the mission openly identifies the state authorities it has found to be directly and indirectly involved, reaching the highest spheres of authority, namely the Supreme Leader.

Additionally, as part of its investigation, the FFMI “established the “chains of command” of those involved in the order, planning, and organization of these acts,” detailed in a conference room paper published on Tuesday, 19th, March.[3] Names and degree of responsibilities, including of superiors who can be held accountable for the acts of their subordinates, are kept in a confidential list that can be used in view of legal proceedings, per the FFMI’s mandate.[4]

The FFMI reiterates, a year and a half after the onset of the protests in September 2022, that Iranian authorities have “failed to investigate allegations of human rights violations, or to prosecute or punish those responsible, and had deliberately and systematically obstructed any efforts by the victims and their families to obtain redress and establish the truth.”[5] The Mission concludes that given the absence of “effective remedies within the country, legal avenues outside the country at the domestic and international levels constitute the only available options for accountability.”[6]

It is the first time a UN mechanism makes findings of serious human rights violations and international crimes perpetrated in Iran to the investigational standard of “reasonable grounds to believe”, marking a further step toward justice by paving the way for international criminal accountability, and the broader pursuit toward truth, justice, and reparation.  

Moreover, the FFMI “regrets the Government’s lack of cooperation” and the lack of “any substantive response” from the Government-appointed Special Committee to investigate the 2022 unrest.[7] It reports it faced constraints “because of the restrictions imposed by the Government on online communications,” and “harassment and intimidation of victims, witnesses and their families inside and outside the country” which deterred individuals from engaging with the mission.[8]

Crucially, the FFMI concludes its report by highlighting that “[d]espite its significant findings, with more time available, the mission could strengthen its documentation of the structural and institutionalized discrimination underlying the protests that it has uncovered, and ensure the effective preservation of evidence for use in legal proceedings.”[9]


The FFMI is an investigative mechanism established by the HRC on 24 November 2022. This establishment came in response to the “full-fledged human rights crisis” that ensued from Iran’s response to the protests triggered by the death of Jina Mahsa Amini.[10] The mission was tasked “to thoroughly and independently investigate alleged human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022, especially with respect to women and children; establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violations; and collect, consolidate and analyse the evidence of such violations and preserve that evidence, in view of cooperation in any legal proceedings.”[11]

While the FFMI is not a judicial body and cannot make enforceable legal judgments or establish individual criminal responsibility as courts do, the FFMI was provided with human and material resources to enable the mission to make authoritative findings of human rights violations and to conclude, where relevant, and with “reasonable grounds to believe,” whether the evidence it has collected and analyzed can be qualified as crimes under international law. Therefore, the Mission’s findings of serious human rights violations and crimes of international law, per its investigational standards, represent a significant advancement in efforts toward accountability, engaging not only the state’s liability but also individual criminal responsibility of the perpetrators behind the human rights violations that amount to international crimes.

[1] FFMI report para 108

[2] FFMI report para 110

[3] A conference room paper is a detailed report that has no word limit in which the mission can provide a more comprehensive report of its findings and/or focus in a more in-depth manner on a particular matter covered by the mandate of the Mission, that could not be expanded upon in the report. UN investigation mechanisms can choose to publish several conference room papers when relevant. The FFMI specifies that the “ mission has also reviewed the impact of the protests on other ethnic and religious minorities [other than Baluchi and Kurdish], which are detailed in the conference room paper. The FFMI’s conference room paper is accessible here

[4] FFMI report para 115

[5] FFMI report para 116

[6] FFMI report para 119

[7] FFMI report para 2

[8] FFMI report para 3

[9] FFMI report para 125


[11] FFMI report para 1



March 14

On March 14, Iran Human Rights and Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM) hosted a side event during the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, in collaboration with Impact Iran and fellow coalition member Balochistan Human Rights Group. The side-event coincided with the launch of ECPM and Iran Human Rights’ yearly joint report on the use of the death penalty in Iran, and aimed “to raise awareness on the situation in the country and encourage states to act against the executions through their engagement at the UN”.

Participants included Special Rapporteur on Iran Javaid Rehman as well as coalition members representatives such as ECPM’s Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Iran Human Rights’ Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, BHRG’s Sabah Bandoui.

Javaid Rehman

Javaid Rehman

UN Special Rapporteur on the human right situation in the Islamic Republican of Iran

“In my view, all impositions of death penalty in Iran are arbitrary and violation of the rights to life, as provided under article, 6 of the ICCPR […] I ask all states to exert pressure on the running authorities, to immediately abolish the practice of arbitrary deprivation of life.”

Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan

Ensemble contre la peine de mort

“The death penalty has been a political instrument used as the foundation of the Iranian regime [..] It is how the regime deals with demonstrations [..] The death penalty is used as retaliation against protesters, an activist, including from the Woman Life Freedom movement.”

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam

Iran Human Rights

“Out of 834 executions only 125 were announced […] In one year, the number of executions between 2023, there is a difference of 200+ executions. This is unparalleled in the world […] In three years, the number of drug related charges has increased 18 times (1800%).”

Sabah Bandoui

Sabah Bandoui

Balochistan Human Rights Group

Despite comprising only about 4% of Iran’s population, the Baluch represent approximately 25% of those executed in 2023 […] The regime […] systematically [denies] Baluch individuals their national identification, effectively blocking their access to essential services like education, healthcare, and social welfare […] We urge support for initiatives, promoting accountability in Iran, including endorsing the extension of the FFMI and advocating for prosecutions, and third countries, leveraging, universal jurisdiction.”


Extend the mandates of the Fact-Finding Mission and the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran

March 18

On March 18, ahead of the interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur and the Fact-Finding Mission on Iran, Impact Iran and 40+ other human rights organizations published a joint statement, calling for the extension of both the SR and the FFM’s mandates. See the joint letter and full list of signatories below:


Report Presentation and Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Iran Javaid Rehman

March 18

On March 18, Javaid Rehman presented his final report and an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council. He reiterated concerns with lack of accountability and impunity for human rights violations perpetrated by Iranian authorities and emphasized the dire situation for women and girls in Iran: “Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day, however, women and girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran face ongoing repression, discrimination and the authorities have increasingly used further brutal and repressive policing methods on girls and women defying the compulsory hijab laws. Iranian authorities have maintained a system of gender apartheid and insisted on draconian laws, administrative policies and practices that increasingly violate the human rights and human dignity of Iranian girls and women. Over 1 million SMS messages were sent to women, threatening that if they were found travelling unveiled, their vehicles would be confiscated and thousands of these threatening orders were implemented. Authorities have also forcibly closed down hundreds of businesses for not enforcing compulsory veiling and countless women have been denied access to education, public transportation and banking services as a result.”

Mr. Rehman concluded his remarks by looking back on his mandate’s work:

“This mandate has been the platform for highlighting and reporting serious human rights violations and abuses conducted by governmental authorities. I remain hopeful that the mandate would continue to be the voice of millions of Iranians, who are targeted, victimised and abused and whose fundamental rights are violated persistently and with impunity. As I end my six-year mandate, I would like to sincerely thank the Iranian people for their bravery, courage, resilience as well as for their support and positive engagement with my mandate.”

The Special Rapporteur prompted comment from numerous member states, among them:

Lithuania“Like the SR, we are deeply alarmed by the sharp spike in executions and violations of the process. Iran must impose and immediate moratorium on executions and pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of the death penalty.”
European Union“The council needs to extend the mandate of the special rapporteur and we urge Iran to fully cooperate with him.”
France“Iran executes the most women in the world. 16 of the 24 women executed in 2022 were in Iran, and at least 22 women in Iran were executed in Iran in 2023.”
Canada“We condemn in the strongest terms Iran’s continued gross human rights violations committed against women and girls, including through violent enforcement of mandatory hijab laws which represents systematic and long-standing means of subjugation and intimidation by the government.”
Argentina“We are deeply concerned by the fact that the report of the rapporteur states that since the start of the protests following the death of Gina Mahsa Amini in September ’22, there has been institutionalized discrimination and torture and arbitrary detentions.”
Ukraine“Iranian drones continue to kill innocent civilians in Ukraine and Destroy civilian infrastructure in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law does we urge Iran to stop assisting Russia in the commission of war crimes in Ukraine…”
Albania“Albania calls all nations committed to human rights to stand with the Iranian people and continue to monitor the human rights situation in the country.”
Bangladesh“We encourage Iran to step up its efforts to ensure non-discrimination against women and girls and promote women’s participation in political and other decision making processes.”
Iran“The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize the mandate, who’s predictable product is this fabricated and distorted report – a mandate that is fundamentally flawed, that lacks the consent of the concerned State.”

The interactive dialogue also included an important intervention from Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, on behalf of Iran Human Rights, ECPM and Impact Iran, who relayed a message sent from Evin Prison in Iran by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Narges Mohammadi:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I address you with grave concern regarding the ongoing human rights violations in Iran. The people of Iran are enduring systematic widespread and institutionalized human rights violations committed by the Islamic Republic. With the recent surge in protests and women’s life freedom movement, repression has escalated targeting not only political dissidents, but also women, religious minorities and ethnic groups. It is imperative that we as both citizens of Iran and members of the international community reassess our approach to effectively address these crimes. As such, I urge the following actions. One, the mandates of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission and the Special Rapporteur on human rights must be extended to allow them to continue their vital work to uncover the full extent of gender apartheid and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Islamic Republic. Two, the UN and human rights organizations worldwide must exert systematic and comprehensive pressure on the Islamic Republic, holding it accountable for its egregious violations of human rights.”

Report Presentation and Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Iran

March 18

On March 18, the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Iran presented its first comprehensive report and held an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council. FFMI Chair Sara Hossain commented on the report’s findings.

“The use of such unnecessary and disproportionate force in largely peaceful protests resulted in unlawful killings and injuries of protesters, and we found credible figures of 551 deaths, amongst them at least 49 women and 68 children”

“To punish, humiliate or extract confession from them, detainees were subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and we found cases of gang rape, rape with an object, beatings, floggings, and electric shocks and acts that clearly constituted torture.”

..and called on the international community to ensure justice and accountability:

“The courage of the victims, witnesses and their family members and all those who have stood in solidarity with them who have trusted to us their stories underscores the need for the International Community to demonstrate their solidarity in turn […] and to match this with concrete measures to support the victims including by exploring Avenues of Justice wherever they may be.”

Several member states responded to the presentation. Costa Rica intervened on behalf of 55 countries from various regions to deliver a joint statement acknowledging the FFMI’s findings and the worsening human rights situation in Iran, notably with regard to gender-based discrimination and violence.

Costa Rica (on behalf of 55 states)“We thank the FFM for carrying out their work. The FFM has recorded patterns of serious violations of human rights including the use of excessive and lethal force against protesters. The report also finds that violence against women and children was widespread throughout the security forces’ response to the protests. The report concludes that some of these acts may amount to crimes against humanity, including the crime against humanity of gender persecution.

Mr President, the human rights situation in Iran has worsened. We remain deeply concerned about the rights of women and girls. If adopted, the “Bill to Support the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab” will restrict women’s rights further; a breach of the mandatory hijab will carry punishment of up to ten years in prison in addition to flogging, crushing fines, travel restrictions and deprivation of online access.

We urge the Iranian authorities to take steps to eliminate this and all other forms of gender-based discrimination, end the cycle of violence, cease the suppression of protests and open civic space to allow for dissenting voices, and allow journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders to carry out their work freely.
Impunity cannot continue, calls for justice cannot remain unanswered, accountability must prevail.
Thank you.”
European Union“This Council needs to extend the Mandate of the FFM. the Woman Life Freedom [movement] fully deserves our further attention. We urge Iran to allow free [..] access to the country for human rights special procedures mandate holders and to fully cooperate with the SR and FFM.”
Ireland“Reports of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by state authorities in places of detention are also concerning. The rights of all women and girls in Iran must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”
Chile“Chile would like to echo the call that was made by several delegations [..] for this mandate to be renewed, as our own history has taught us recognizing human rights violations that have been committed is the only way forward towards truth.”
Dominican Republic“The SR and FFM [..] are suitable mechanisms for paving the way towards a proper solution in the country and in accordance with the missions’ mandate so as to ensure accountability for human rights obligations.”
United Kingdom“Your report, which is so clear in setting out the case that the Iranian authorities perpetrated egregious human rights violations[..] we of course are particularly concerned at the report of crimes against humanity including the crime of gender persecution.”

Several non-governmental organizations also shared remarks, including Amnesty International’s Raha Bahreini and coalition member KMMK-G’s Taimoor Aliassi.

Amnesty International“Authorities are going to great lengths to silence and repress those claiming rights. Women and girls are suffering intensifying persecution for defining mandatory hijab laws. Authorities target them with mass surveillance, imprisonment and car confiscations.”
Kurdistan Human Rights Association – Geneva“The FFM’s conclusion that crimes against humanity have been committed by the IRI in particular in Kurdistan [..] should lead the UNHRC to support Iran’s long suppressed ethnic minorities by extending the mandate of the FFM and the UNSR on Iran.”

Persecution on the ground of gender, ethnicity and religion in Iran: THE NEED FOR JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

March 18

On March 18, a group of human rights organizations including Kurdistan Human Rights Association – Geneva, Minority Rights Group International, Impact Iran, Ensemble centre la peine de mort, ARTICLE 19, Front Line Defenders, Amnesty International, the International Bar Association Human Rights Committee, WILPF, and MIAAN jointly hosted an HRC side event on the need for justice and accountability for persecuted women and minorities in Iran. Speakers included Sara Hossain, Chair of the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Iran and coalition member representatives such as Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan (Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort), Taimoor Aliassi (KMMK-G), Monireh Shirani (Baluchistan Human Rights Group), as well as Nushin Sarkarati from the Strategic Litigation Project and Skylar Thompson from Human Rights Activists in Iran. The event concluded with remarks from Zaniar Tondro, a young protestor who was blinded by Iranian security forces during the Woman Life Freedom demonstrations.

Sara Hossain

Sara Hossain

Chair, Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran

“Because of the work of so many activists and human rights defenders, inside and outside Iran, it was possible to make findings. We were able to gather evidence and direct testimony.”

“AK-47s – not your usual form of crowd control – were used on ordinary protestors [and] Uzis, and machine guns mounted on vehicles

“We also found, from data from last year, of the 936 cases of detained protestors that had been identified, that some 43% were Kurdish and 16% were Balochi.”

Monireh Shirani

Balochistan Human Rights Group

“A country such as the Islamic Republic of Iran is a mixture of peoples, languages, histories. But for centuries, the ruling elite has thought to eradicate that rich diversity, seeking to impose one entity, one language and one religion, basically excluding 70% of the population.

Ethnic minorities including Kurds, Baloch, Ahwazi Arabs and Azerbaiiani Kurds have consistently been harassed, targeted and victimized, denied their fundamental basic right to equality, deprived of their linguistic and cultural rights and their identity.”

Skylar Thompson

Skylar Thompson

Human Rights Activists in Iran

“We documented endlessly this violence from the onset of the protests following the 16th of September, and we continue to analyze these violations to this day. This is why it’s extremely important that member states renew the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Zaniar Tondro

Survivor of blinding by security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

“There are hundreds of young boys and girls like me who have been victims of the crimes of repression of the Islamic Republic of Iran and have suffered physical and mental injuries.

We call on the participants of the meeting to support [those] who have taken themselves abroad and those who are currently living in Iraq, Turkey and even Iran to be sent to safe countries for medical treatment.”



March 19

On March 19, coalition member Iran Human Rights Documentation Center sponsored a side event at the Human Rights Council, hosted by Shahin Milani and supported by Impact Iran, on Iranian authorities’ use of blindings during recent protest movements. The side event featured remarks from FFM Chair Sara Hossain, Strategic Litigation Project’s Lisandro Novo, as well as in-person interventions from young Iranian victims of these blindings (Kosar Eftekhari, Hossein Noorinikoo, and Zaniar Tondro).

Vote on resolution / renewal of mandates of the Special Rapporteur and Fact-Finding Mission on Iran

April 4

On April 4, the Human Rights Council renewed the mandates of both the Special Rapporteur and the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran by adopting resolution A/HRC/55/L.6 with an absolute majority of 24 YES votes, 15 Abstentions, and 8 NO votes. Half of the member states supporting the resolution were from Africa, Latin America and Asia. The resolution received one of the highest YES tallies in its history, showcasing the international community’s increasingly firming stance against Iran’s disregard for human rights. This robust support underscores the global momentum for women’s rights and accountability in Iran persisting, undiminished, a year and a half after the start of the Women, Life, Freedom movement.

The voting result is particularly significant as it represents cross-regional support to the mandates of the UN Special Rapporteur and the FFMI. In a historic high from this regional group, 5 African States voted YES (Benin, Gambia, Somalia, Malawi, Morocco) to the resolution. Additionally, all Latin American States but Cuba (NO) and Brazil (Abstention) supported the resolution. It is also noteworthy that states from Latin America were more vocal than usual during the adoption process, with Chile, Costa Rica, and Argentina taking the floor to deliver strong statements in support of the resolution and expressing deep concern at the human rights situation in Iran.

The HRC’s decision to renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur and the Fact-Finding Mission on Iran, with wide cross-regional support, marks a significant moment for accountability and human rights in Iran. This decision underscores a cross-regional consensus on the need for continued scrutiny and documentation of Iran’s human rights practices, emphasizing the international community’s commitment to holding Iran accountable for its obligations under international law.

The renewal of the mandate of the FFMI signals that the HRC commits to providing the FFMI with additional time and resources for it to review and process the massive amount of evidence it has collected, as well as interviews yet to be conducted, which will strengthen its findings with regard to human rights violations and crimes under international law related to the protests that began on 16, September 2022. Given the FFMI’s pivotal findings, particularly regarding the commission of crimes against humanity in Iran, this extension provides one additional and final year for the FFMI to engage with judicial entities and legal frameworks capable of leveraging this evidence to initiate criminal proceedings against perpetrators. On the other hand, the extension of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur enables ongoing, comprehensive, and authoritative monitoring and documentation of the wider spectrum of human rights issues and trends in Iran. This continuity ensures the possibility of sustained engagement with Iranian authorities, civil society, and those directly affected, and the continued issuance of recommendations aimed at urging Iran towards compliance with the international legal obligations to which it is bound.

24 YES Votes15 Abstentions8 NO Votes

🇦🇱 Albania

🇦🇷 Argentina

🇧🇪 Belgium

🇧🇯 Benin

🇧🇬 Bulgaria

🇨🇱 Chile

🇨🇷 Costa Rica

🇩🇴 Dominican Republic

🇫🇮 Finland

🇫🇷 France

🇬🇲 Gambia


🇭🇳 Honduras

🇯🇵 Japan

🇱🇹 Lithuania

🇱🇺 Luxembourg

🇲🇼 Malawi

🇲🇪 Montenegro

🇲🇦 Morocco

🇳🇱 Netherlands

🇵🇾 Paraguay

🇷🇴 Romania

🇸🇴 Somalia

🇺🇸 USA

🇧🇩 Bangladesh

🇧🇷 Brazil

🇨🇲 Cameroon

🇨🇮 Cote D’Ivoire

🇬🇪 Georgia

🇬🇭 Ghana

🇮🇳 India

🇰🇿 Kazakhstan

🇰🇼 Kuwait

🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan

🇲🇾 Malaysia

🇲🇻 Maldives

🇶🇦 Qatar

🇿🇦 South Africa

🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates

🇩🇿 Algeria

🇧🇮 Burundi

🇨🇳 China

🇨🇺 Cuba

🇪🇷 Eritrea

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇸🇩 Sudan

🇻🇳 Vietnam

European Union“The European Union is deeply concerned about the human rights situation across Iran… which has further deteriorated since the crackdown in September 2022 […] The EU calls upon Iran to eliminate in law and practice all forms of systematic discrimination against women and girls in public and private life.”
Lithuania “Continued violence by the security forces and public officials is the  result of decades-long impunity for emblematic human rights violations… Perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice… in this context of sustained and systematic impunity and absence of accountability in the country, the work of the FFMI and of the UNSR is highly important
Netherlands“According to the Fact-Finding Mission, many of these violations amount to crimes against humanity and the victims deserve that the perpetrators be held accountable.”
Chile“Any gender based discrimination that takes place in the context of an institutionalized system of discrimination and segregation against women and girls must never be ignored, let alone tolerated.”
Costa Rica“How much time will the international community sit by with the amount of people condemned to death? The numbers are shocking. It cannot be possible that in the 21st century we continue with this growing trend in death penalties.”
Argentina“We are concerned that, according to these reports, many of the serious human rights violations are crimes against humanity. The cruel violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran seems to go beyond the limits of human imagination. For this reason we believe there must be ongoing investigations into the allegations of violations of human rights, to identify those responsible and ensure adequate reparations to the victims. Argentina would like to express once again that we are not indifferent [to] the reiterated human rights violations in Iran. For these reasons, Argentina will vote in favor of draft resolution L.6.”

Among states that took the floor to explain their position of opposition or abstention to the resolution, some nonetheless mentioned human rights concerns that Iran must address:

Brazil“Brazil remains deeply concerned about the continued application of the death penalty in the country, including against children. The protection of the rights to peaceful assembly and association must be strengthened. Further actions are needed to ensure that the freedoms of expression and opinion are upheld offline as well as online. There’s also the need to repeal existing gender discriminatory laws and promote the rights of women and girls, including equal participation of women in political life and the protection of human rights defenders.”
Indonesia“Indonesia is a staunch advocate for the advancement and fulfillment of women and girls rights. We deeply regret the tragic death of Mahsa Amini in 2022, and the subsequent protests leading to acts of violence and repression. Discrimination against women and girls, including in Iran [..] demands our collective action [..] The concerned country has significant room to improve their efforts in promoting and protecting human rights, as well as to engage more with the international community in addressing its human rights issues.”

End of Session Statement

April 5

On April 5, the International Service for Human Rights (“ISHR”) delivered a joint statement on behalf of a group of human rights NGOs active during the session.

In the full statement, Impact Iran provides its reaction to the adoption of the resolution renewing the mandates of the UN Special Rapporteur and the FFMI:

“We welcome the adoption of the resolution on Iran, renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and extending for another year the mandate of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Iran. The continuation of these two distinct and complementary mandates is essential for the Council to fulfill its mandate of promotion and protection of human rights in Iran. However, given the severity of the human rights crisis in the country, we regret that this important resolution remains purely procedural and fails to reflect the dire situation of human rights in Iran, including the sharp spike in executions, often following grossly unfair trials. It also fails to address the increased levels of police and judicial harassment against women and girls appearing in public without compulsory headscarves, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and families of victims seeking truth and justice, and the continued pervasive discrimination and violence faced by women and girls, LGBTI+ persons and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities in the country.”

See the full statement below: