UN fact-finding mission concludes death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian custody unlawful News
© WikiMedia Commons (VOA)
UN fact-finding mission concludes death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian custody unlawful

The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI), mandated by the UN, concluded on Monday that the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody was unlawful and resulted from violence.

The UN Human Rights Council established the mission in November 2022 to investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran. Its primary focus was to examine the protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

Sara Hossain, Chairperson of the mission, stated in the UN Human Rights Council, “Our findings, based on examination of medical documents and patterns of treatment towards women in similar situations, indicate that Mahsa Amini’s death was unlawful, and we hold the state responsible.” Despite requests for access and attempts to engage with the Iranian government, the mission was denied entry into the country, and no response was received to their meeting requests.

Following Mahsa’s death, protests erupted throughout the country, evolving into the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. Young women and schoolchildren took the lead, with many publicly removing their hijabs as an act of defiance against long-standing discriminatory laws and practices.

The investigation conducted by the mission also revealed that Iranian state authorities were accountable for severe human rights violations related to the protests.

During the protests, security forces employed firearms, including assault rifles, metal pellets and paintball guns, resulting in deaths and extensive injuries.

The mission also uncovered mass arbitrary arrests of protesters by Iran’s security forces. While the Iranian government announced that 22,000 individuals were pardoned in connection with the protests, it suggests that a considerably larger number of people were detained or charged.

Sara Hossain called on the Iranian government to promptly implement measures to cease executions, release all arbitrarily detained individuals associated with the protests, including women arrested for defying mandatory hijab laws, halt judicial harassment against victims and their families, provide them with redress, truth, justice, and reparations and dismantle the oppressive system enforcing such laws and policies.