United Nations, Oct. 28 (Reuters) – The United States will next week draw attention to the ongoing protests in Iran after a young woman died in police custody. .
The US and Albania will hold an informal UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, according to a memo outlining the event seen by Reuters. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi are scheduled to speak briefly.
“The meeting highlights the continuing oppression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran,” the memo said. “It will identify opportunities to promote credible, independent investigations into the Iranian government’s human rights violations and abuses.”
Javaid Rehman, the UN’s independent investigator on human rights in Iran, is also scheduled to address the gathering, which includes the UN. Member States and rights groups may participate.
Protests have been raging in Iran since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in police custody last month. The unrest has become a popular uprising by Iranians from all walks of life, one of the boldest challenges to clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York accused the United States and its allies of abusing the site “to advance their political agenda.”
“Given its hypocrisy, application of double standards, and selective use of human rights, we find the United States’ claims of support for Iranian women deceptive and lacking in good faith,” it said.
Rights groups say at least 250 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested across the country. Women have played an important role in the protests by removing veils and burning them. The killing of several teenage girls during the protests has fueled further anger.
“The meeting will underscore the continued illegal use of force against protesters and the Iranian regime’s pursuit of kidnapping or assassination of human rights defenders and dissidents abroad in violation of international law,” read a note on the planned meeting.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Friday urged Iranian authorities to address the “legitimate grievances of the people, including women’s rights.”
“We condemn all incidents of death or serious injury to protesters and reiterate that security forces must refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force against peaceful protesters,” Dujarric told reporters. “Those responsible must be held to account.”
Report by Michael Nichols; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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