Ambassador Christopher Henzel
U.S. Area Adviser for Near Eastern Affairs
New York, New York
November 15, 2023
Thank you, Chair. We would also like to thank Canada for leading negotiations on this important resolution.
More than a year after the protests sparked by the death in custody of Jina Mahsa Amini, we see the human rights situation in Iran continuing to deteriorate dramatically.
We remain deeply concerned that the Iranian regime responded to peaceful protests by killing hundreds of protesters, including children, torturing and threatening detained protesters and activists, and carrying out death sentences against people merely for exercising their rights. Reports of abuses involving extrajudicial killings, disproportionate use of force, arbitrary arrests and detention, gender-based violence, unfair trials, internet shutdowns, and targeted harassment demonstrate the cruelty of the regime and its hostility to universal human rights.
Sadly, Iranian authorities refuse to grant access to the country for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. We urge the government to allow the Rapporteur to visit Iran immediately.
We firmly support civil society activists, human rights defenders, and other Iranians who continue to protest their government’s human rights abuses, including gender-based violence against women, and restrictions on Iranians’ exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. We join Iranians and millions of others around the world in calling for those responsible to be held accountable.
This resolution helps to promote this essential accountability. And we are pleased that this resolution provides updates on the situation over the past year, including support for the Fact-Finding Mission created during the Special Session of the Human Rights Council last November.
We are proud to vote “yes” on this resolution.
Today’s result strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s continued human rights violations and abuses. And, just as importantly, it sends a strong signal of support to the brave Iranians, including women and children, demanding respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.