EU calls on Iran to uphold human rights on anniversary of Amini's death

EU calls on Iran to uphold human rights on anniversary of Amini's death
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On Jina Mehsa AImini's death anniversary, the EU urges Iran to uphold human rights, adhere to international treaties, and end unlawful detentions, highlighting a grim human rights scenario in the nation

On the anniversary of the tragic death of Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini, the European Union (EU) intensifies its calls to Iran to respect human rights, adhere to international agreements it is party to, and put an end to unlawful detentions targeting EU citizens, amongst others.

This call comes directly from the office of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. Jina Mahsa Amini, aged 22, lost her life while under police custody on September 16, 2022, in Tehran. The distressing incident had ignited widespread protests, resulting in hundreds of deaths, thousands of unwarranted arrests, and extensive damage.

Iran's response to the protests which were sparked by Amini's death has been harsh, resulting in "hundreds of deaths and thousands of unfair detentions and damages," the statement noted. It emphasized that the country continues to restrict freedom of thought and expression, pointing to a critical ongoing human rights situation.

The statement also urged Iran to cease all forms of systematic discrimination against women and girls in both public and private spheres, alongside a call to abolish the death penalty. Iran was further asked to allow United Nations officials free access to collect data in the country as per the relevant international agreements to which Iran is a party.

Furthermore, the EU statement reiterated the need for accountability from those responsible for the violence and human rights violations. "The EU continues to demand the perpetrators of violence and human rights violations be held accountable," the statement read. It also urged Iran to immediately end the unacceptable and illegal practice of arbitrary detention, including that of EU and dual EU-Iranian citizens, and to release them immediately.

The EU and its member states reaffirm their strong support for the fundamental rights and aspirations of Iranian men and women, the statement noted. Consequently, they are considering all appropriate options to address the alarming issues concerning human rights conditions in Iran.

On September 13, 2022, 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran for not wearing a headscarf as per the local laws. She fell ill at the police station and was rushed to the hospital, where she passed away on September 16. While the family and human rights activists claim she died from injuries sustained during her arrest, government officials insist she died due to pre-existing heart failure.

Amini's funeral in the city of Saqiz in Rojhilat triggered nationwide protests that lasted for months. The Iranian government, attributing the protests to 'foreign instigations', retaliated with severe repression. According to the Iran Human Rights Organization, 537 protestors died, thousands were injured, and many others were detained. Since December, seven protestors have been executed, and dozens more have been sentenced to death.