By Kayhan Life Staff
The Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi urged the United Nations to stand on the right side of history. Dr. Ebadi spoke on Wednesday at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council organized by the U.S. and Albania.
The meeting aimed to look for ways to promote credible, independent investigations into Iranian human rights abuses since the protests started six weeks ago by the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini. in police custody.
Javaid Rehman, the special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi also spoke at the meeting.
Below is Dr. Ebadi’s address, translated to English.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Finally the voices of protests in Iran are being heard by the international community. This brings a sense of hope to the people of Iran.
Thank you for organizing this meeting and giving me the opportunity to speak. The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Mr. Javaid Rehman, spoke about recent events. I would just remind you that the demand for justice by the family of Mahsa Amini, the young girl who was killed in the streets by government agents and whose killing led to the recent protest, has so far yielded no results.
In the meantime, the two journalists who took a photo of that young woman in the hospital and published a report on her funeral in some Iranian newspapers are now in prison on the charge of espionage. I am talking about a country whose government deems no punishment for murder, but considers journalism as a punishable crime.
In this situation, the people of Iran ask the Western governments especially the United States of America to refrain from subscribing to any type of agreement that will help the survival of the regime; as this Islamic Republic does not spend the funds for the welfare of the people. But on the contrary, provides and buys more weapons, which in turn will cause more killings in Iran and the region.
Another request of the people is that the United Nations form a commission appointed by main members to investigate the situation of human rights and the recent repercussions in Iran. I remind you that such a commission was previously formed in the case of Myanmar and we hope that a similar decision will be made for Iran.
The scope of the government’s violence has even extended to the hospitals as they identify and detain people who have been injured in the gathering and seek treatment in the hospital. If the medical staff persists in the treatment of the injured individuals, they are arrested and in some cases, tear gas is used in the hospital premises to oppose the oppression of the people in Iran. I request the governments of the free world to withdraw their ambassadors from the Islamic Republic of Iran and to reduce the level of political relations with Iran from ambassador to political officer.
Another request from governments who believe in freedom of expression and information is not to allow the Islamic Republic to cut off the internet for a few days and massacre 1,500 people who were only protesting the price of gasoline in silence, like in 2019. Make sure that the people of Iran do not lose their connection with the world.
Despite being a signatory to the human rights conventions, and currently a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Islamic Republic takes refuge in cultural relativism every time it is accused of violating human rights and justifies its violence with people’s religion and culture, while affirming and implementing discriminatory laws against women, religion, ethnic and gender minorities.
Efforts of the Iranian people to change the situation and implement reforms have constantly hit a hard wall, and now they will not settle for anything but a democratic and secular government.
The people’s slogan in the recent protests, which have been going on for almost two months in more than one hundred cities of Iran, is Woman Life Freedom. The realization of such a slogan requires a government that respects the standards of human rights and equality in Iran. Respected members of the United Nations should be sure that with such a government in Iran, tensions in the region will certainly decrease.
Many young people in Iran were killed for freedom and democracy. Please do not allow Iranians to grieve any more than this. We will be grateful if you stand on the right side of history.