Protests: UN human rights commissioner: Situation in Iran critical

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has described the situation in Iran as critical given the growing violence.

Protests: UN human rights commissioner: Situation in Iran critical

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has described the situation in Iran as critical given the growing violence. "We call on the authorities to respond to people's demands for equality, dignity and rights instead of using unnecessary or disproportionate force to suppress the protests," said his office in Geneva on Tuesday.

On Thursday, at the request of Germany and Iceland, a special session of the UN Human Rights Council will be held in Geneva on the situation in Iran. The countries have tabled a resolution calling for the establishment of a commission to investigate the situation further. The 47 member countries of the Council are to vote on this.

According to information from the UN Human Rights Office, the presence of security forces in Kurdish cities has increased significantly in recent days. In the past week, more than 40 people have died in Kurdish cities, it said.

Conditional release of bodies

The bureau also denounced the authorities' apparent conditional release of the bodies of those killed. According to this information, families are asked not to speak to members of the press or to cover up the reasons for death.

"We remind the Iranian authorities that they have an obligation under international human rights law to respect and ensure the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression," the office said.

According to the UN Human Rights Office, more than 300 participants have died since the protests began in Iran in mid-September, including more than 40 minors. According to Iranian information, some members of the security forces were also killed. Thousands were arrested and six people sentenced to death for the protests.

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