UN calls on Iran to avoid 'unnecessary force' on protesters

AP , Wednesday 28 Sep 2022

The United Nations Secretary-General called on Iran early Wednesday to refrain from using ``unnecessary or disproportionate force'' against protesters as unrest over a young woman's death in police custody spread across the country.

Protests in Iran
This grab taken from a UGC video and dated to September 25, 2022 shows an Iranian protester throwing her burning headscarf in Iran s southwestern city of Bushehr. AFP


Antonio Guterres said through a spokesman that authorities should swiftly conduct an impartial investigation of the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, which has sparked unrest across Iran's provinces and the capital of Tehran.

``We are increasingly concerned about reports of rising fatalities, including women and children, related to the protests,'' U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric in a statement. ``We underline the need for prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Ms. Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent authority.''

Protests have spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages in Iran. State TV reported that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the protests began Sept. 17.

An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at least 14 dead, with more than 1,500 demonstrators arrested.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, meanwhile, said it documented the arrests of at least 23 journalists as the clashes between security forces and protesters heated up.

CPJ in a Wednesday statement called on Iranian authorities to ``immediately'' release arrested journalists who covered Amini's death and protests.

Dujarric added that Guterres stressed the need to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association during the meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on September 22nd.

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