(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations’ top human rights body voted overwhelmingly for an international investigation into alleged human-rights violations by Iranian authorities in their deadly crackdown on protests gripping the country.
At a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, 25 countries agreed to establish an independent fact-finding mission to investigate deaths, injuries, abuse, imprisonment and intimidation of protesters and their families since the unrest erupted on Sept. 16.
Six countries voted against the resolution, including Iran allies China and Venezuela, while nations including Brazil, India, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates abstained.
“The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force must come to an end,” said Volker Turk, United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, adding that a “full-fledged human rights crisis” was underway in Iran.
Dozens of countries condemned the actions of the Islamic Republic at the session and called for independent investigations to collect evidence of human-rights violations for use in any future legal proceedings in national or international courts.
The uprising was triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini days after she was arrested by Iran’s so-called morality police for allegedly breaching religious dress codes. It’s emerged as the biggest public rebuke of the theocratic system that’s ruled Iran since 1979.
Rights groups estimate between 305 and 420 people have so far been killed by security forces, including between 41 and 60 children. Iranian state media hasn’t provided a death toll since Sept. 24 when it said 41 people had been killed.
The session was proposed by Germany and Iceland and supported by more than 50 countries. Many countries emphasized their concern at the violent targeting of women and children and Iran’s use of the death penalty against many of the thousands of protesters who are in detention.
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