Iran has been expelled from a UN body tasked with empowering women, amid an ongoing bloody state crackdown on a women-led protest movement that has convulsed the country for nearly three months.
The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council, which oversees the Commission on the Status of Women, adopted on December 14 a U.S.-drafted resolution to remove Iran from the commission “with immediate effect”.
As many as 29 member states voted in favor, eight against and there were 16 abstentions.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hailed the “historic vote” in New York, calling it “another sign of the growing international consensus on Iran and demands for accountability”.
Addressing the ECOSOC meeting before the vote, the U.S. envoy to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, described Iran’s membership as an "ugly stain on the commission´s credibility."
Iran had just started a four-year term on the 45-member Commission on the Status of Women.
Human rights activists say the Islamic Republic’s role in this body is a farce, considering that its security forces have killed, beaten and incarcerated thousands of women and other Iranians peacefully calling for more freedoms and gender equality.
Iran and several allies have urged council members to avoid a “new trend for expelling sovereign and rightfully elected states from any given body of the international system”.
Last month, the UN Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly to set up a fact-finding investigation into human rights abuses committed in the authorities’ crackdown on the protests triggered by the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police. Amini was being held for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly.
Iranian security forces have killed at least 458 people since the eruption of the demonstrations, including 63 children and 29 women, according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group. At least 18,000 others have been detained.
According to information gathered by IranWire, at least 28 protesters have been handed capital punishment for alleged offences in connection with the protests. Two of them have been hanged over the past several days amid international condemnation.