Iran: IBAHRI condemns ongoing violent crackdown of protests, calls for accountability and an end to impunity

Thursday 13 October 2022

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is alarmed by, and condemns, the widely reported campaign of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention of protestors by Iran’s security forces. Accounts cite at least 185 people, including 19 minors, have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands arrested by the security forces following the death of Mahsa Amini who died while in police custody after being arrested for not wearing a headscarf in a way deemed ‘appropriate’ by Iran’s ‘morality’ police.

IBAHRI Co-Chair and Immediate Past Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg Dr Jur hc, commented: ‘The IBAHRI calls for prompt, independent and transparent investigations into the death of Mahsa Amini and all the protestors that have died during the ruthless crackdown in Iran following demonstrations over the death of Ms Amini while in police custody. We call for a halt to the suppression, for the morality police to be dismantled and compulsory veiling laws, which sparked the protests after their brutal enforcement, to be repealed. Once again, the rights of Iranian women are being violated wholesale. Iranian security forces have continuously shown total disregard for the sanctity of life.’

The IBAHRI suggests that an open and transparent investigation into the causes leading to the death of Amini could be conducted by the Special Rapporteurs on torture, on violence against women and girls, and on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Furthermore, the IBAHRI calls on the government in Iran to immediately stop the use of lethal force in policing peaceful assemblies, to respect individuals’ rights to exercise freedom of expression, assembly and association, and repeal all legislation and policies that discriminate on the grounds of sex and gender, in line with international standards.

Increasingly, the Iranian regime is imprisoning prominent women’s rights activists who peacefully campaign against compulsory veiling laws, including human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh, as well as Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasaman Aryani, and Monireh Arabshahi. Against this backdrop, Iran’s election to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on 20 April 2021 was ill-considered by many.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Mark Stephens CBE, commented: ‘Iran’s ascension to the UN Commission on the Status of Women earlier this year is a testament to the surreal dissonance between what happens at the international level, and the harsh reality Iranian women and girls are facing on the ground. With four Western states having elected Iran to the top women’s rights body, the international community now has an onus in ending the culture of systematic impunity and in protecting the rights of women in Iran. A woman should not have to lose her life because she wore a piece of material on her head in a way that was not acceptable to a man.’

Since the death of Amini on 16 September 2022, protests in Iran have burgeoned from calling for an end to violence and discrimination against women in Iran, and the repealing of discriminatory laws against women, to calls for the fall of the clerical establishment. 


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Notes to the Editor

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  2. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), established in 1995 under Founding Honorary President Nelson Mandela, is an autonomous and financially independent entity, working to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.
  3. Find the IBAHRI (@IBAHRI) on social media here:
  4. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

    ​​​​​​​The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.
  5. Find the IBA(@IBAnews) on social media here: