March 6, 2024

HRA welcomes the findings presented by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI) regarding serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the civilian population, particularly women and girls, during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests.

In particular, HRA welcomes the FFMI’s recognition of the crime against humanity of gender persecution. 

Download the full report

In December 2023, HRA with our partner, UpRights, submitted evidence and legal analysis on the crime against humanity of gender and political persecution urging the mission to recognize the commission of such crimes. 

The protests, sparked by the tragic death of Mahsa Zhina Amini in detention, were met with brutal force, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and leaving numerous individuals with irreversible injuries. The disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by security forces against peaceful demonstrators represents a blatant disregard for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.

The documented violations, including extra-judicial killings, torture, rape, enforced disappearances, and gender persecution, underscore the urgent need for accountability and justice for the victims and survivors.

The comprehensive report by the FFMI emphasizes the the need for immediate action to address the systemic impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations in Iran and crimes under International law. 

The government’s systematic denial of due process and fair trial, coupled with its continued repression of dissent and denial of basic rights, perpetuates a culture of impunity for violations dating back decades. 

HRA’s Spreading Justice Initiative (SJ) welcomes the FFMI’s dedication to documenting those responsible and conducting investigations into the identities of the direct perpetrators who committed, ordered, solicited, or induced the commission of violations. SJ believes this type of investigation is crucial.

HRA further welcomes the discussion on avenues for accountability outside the Islamic Republic of Iran and encourages Member States to explore avenues for international and domestic accountability as recommended in the report. 

Skylar Thompson, Director of Advocacy and Accountability, when speaking about the findings today, said “Recognizing crimes against humanity that have been committed paves a real path forward, opening the door to additional domestic and international accountability mechanisms. It also assures that victims know they are seen and heard. A failure to recognize the gravity of crimes perpetrated by Iranian authorities in the context of the protests would have been a grave failure for the very women and girls who have suffered for so long. Instead, these findings offer a glimmer of hope. Now, it is absolutely essential that Member States ensure the mandate is extended alongside the Special Rapporteur.”

HRA looks forward to engaging with Member States, partners, and the FFMI throughout the session.