Iranian security forces cracked down on protests in Kurdish areas on Saturday. Local human rights organisation Kurdistan Human Rights Network also observed several arrests which targeted the families of the victims of the Woman, Life, Freedom protests.
The Woman, Life, Freedom protest happened a year ago, after the death of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died in custody after being arrested by Iranian morality police for alleged violation of mandatory dress codes. In light of the foreseeable public commemoration and protests of Amini, Iranian authorities heightened their presence since Friday. Despite this, an Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran reported that families of detained protesters continued their protests to demand the releases of their family members.
Approaching the anniversary of Amini’s death, several international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, published reports that human rights violations have intensified in Iran throughout the year in an attempt by the authorities to suppress protests for women’s rights. They commonly observed that the Iranian authorities have suppressed activists, lawyers, dissidents, and family members of those who were killed during the 2022 protests. The suppression involved forceful dismissal of college staff, prosecution, imprisonment, and execution. The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (the Fact-Finding Mission) also released a similar statement on September 14. In the statement, the Fact-Finding Mission urged the Iranian government to refrain from quelling dissents. As a Member of the Fact-Finding Mission, Viviana Krsticevic said,
“Under international human rights law, the State must respect and ensure the right to seek truth, justice and reparations of victims and their families and refrain from intimidation, harassment and reprisals.”
Amnesty International has also called upon the international community to exercise their universal jurisdictions under international law to hold the Iranian government accountable for the crimes against humanity that the Iranian authorities have committed. The Fact-Finding Mission will also present a comprehensive report to the Human Rights Council at its 55th session in March 2024.