Release peaceful protesters, UN urges Iran

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The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday (November 15) urged Iran government to immediately release peaceful protesters who have been detained by authorities in the country. The Islamic republic has been rocked by protests for many weeks.

The protests started when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of country’s morality police who had detained her for wearing ‘inappropriate’ attire. Amini died in September. The protests that started at the time are going on even now. Iranian authorities have responded with crackdown.

The UN Human Rights Office said one protester had already been sentenced to death.

“We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection to peaceful protests, and to drop the charges against them,” spokesman Jeremy Laurence told reporters in Geneva.

“Human rights law protects the rights of people to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression.”
Laurence said more than 1,000 indictments had been issued against those arrested in connection with protests in Tehran province alone.

“Instead of opening space for dialogue on legitimate grievances, the authorities are responding to unprecedented protests with increasing harshness,” he said.

One protester has been handed death penalty till now. The death penalty has been handed for “waging war against God” and “corruption on Earth”. At least nine others have been charged with offences which carry the death penalty.

“Crimes not resulting directly and intentionally in death can never serve as the basis for the imposition of the death penalty,” Laurence said.

“We therefore call on the Iranian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, to refrain from charging capital crimes, and to revoke death sentences issued for crimes not qualifying as the most serious crimes.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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