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US calls for Iran’s ouster from top UN women’s rights body


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UNITED NATIONS – The United States announced on Wednesday that it would seek to oust Iran from the UN’s top global body fighting for gender equality over its violation of the rights of women and girls and its repression continues against protesters who took to the streets in September after the death of a 22-year-old woman taken into custody by the vice squad.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced the United States’ intention to work with other countries to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women, saying that no nation that violates women’s rights should play a role in any international or United Nations body mandated to protect those same rights.

She said Iran is “unfit” to sit on the commission and that its presence “discredits the integrity” of its work.

At an informal meeting of the UN Security Council later Wednesday on the protests in Iran, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield added that Iran’s membership “is an ugly stain on the credibility of the commission” and “in our opinion, this cannot last”.

Established in 1946, the Commission on the Status of Women plays a leading role in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives around the world and developing global standards to empower women and achieve to gender equality. Its 45 members, from all regions of the world, are elected for a four-year term by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Iran was elected in the Asian region and its mandate ends in 2026.

Thomas-Greenfield said that “while Iran’s systematic oppression of women is nothing new, thanks to the bravery of the Iranian people, the regime’s abuses have been exposed.”

Nationwide protests first erupted after the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of the country’s vice squad. She was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women, accused of wearing her headscarf inappropriately.

Although the protests initially focused on Iran’s compulsory headscarf, or hijab, they have since morphed into a campaign for women’s rights and one of the biggest challenges to ruling clerics since the chaotic years. that followed the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Ahead of the Security Council meeting, Iran’s UN ambassador Amir Saied Iravani read a statement accusing the US of ‘disinformation campaign in blatant hypocrisy’ and interference in the country’s internal affairs in violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

He asserted that Iran “has always been and continues to be committed to the promotion and protection of human rights”. He added that “every government is responsible for protecting its people against insecurity and violent and terrorist acts, and for upholding law and order, and Iran is no exception.” He refused to answer questions.

At the informal council meeting, Professor Javaid Rehman, the United Nations special investigator on human rights in Iran, described the situation since September 16 as an unfortunate reflection of impunity and the absence accountability for rights violations in the country.

“Women and girls in Iran have been brutalized for decades,” he said.

Rehman called for “the prompt establishment of an independent investigative mechanism to investigate all human rights violations that preceded and followed the death of Mahsa Amini”.

Thomas-Greenfield said the United States strongly supports his call “for an independent international investigation to hold Iranian officials accountable for the violence we are witnessing.”

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