The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran says violations committed by the Islamic Republic in recent months as part of a broader crackdown on anti-government protests may amount to crimes against humanity.
Addressing the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on March 20, Javaid Rehman said that the scale and gravity of the crimes "points to the possible commission of international crimes, notably the crimes against humanity."
The UN expert cited cases of murder, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, sexual violence and persecution.
Iran's Ambassador Ali Bahreini rejected the allegations.
Iran has been swept by protests demanding fundamental changes since the September 2022 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in custody. Amini had been arrested by “morality police” for allegedly wearing the mandatory headscarf improperly.
The authorities claim she died from pre-existing medical conditions, while eyewitnesses and her family say she was beaten by security forces.
Rehman said he had evidence that Amini died "as a result of beatings by the state morality police."
The authorities responded to the women-led protest movement sparked by Amini’s death with brutal force, killing more than 520 demonstrators and unlawfully detaining over 20,000, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.
According to Rehman, a total of 143 people had been executed in Iran since the beginning of the year following "grossly unfair trials."
Also on March 20, the European Union and Britain decided to impose restrictive measures on additional Iranian individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran, including senior officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and members of the judiciary.