December 17, 2023

UpRights Provided Its Legal Expertise To Human Rights Activists In Iran In The Drafting Of A Submission Before The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission On The Islamic Republic Of Iran (FFMI)

On 11 December 2023, Human Rights Activists (HRA) in Iran and UpRights filed a submission before the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI). The submission contends that crimes against humanity, and in particular persecution on political and gender grounds, have taken place in the Islamic Republic of Iran since at least 16 September 2022.

Analysing information collected and verified by HRA and two partner organizations, the submission demonstrates that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the crackdown by the Iranian authorities on the peaceful protests that followed the death of Mahsa Zhina Amini, and other violations related to the protests since September 2022, constitute a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population. Against the background of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests, the submission highlights specific examples of the violence employed by the Iranian government including instances of arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, and murder. It demonstrates that those examples qualify as underlying acts of crimes against humanity and severe deprivations of fundamental rights.

The submission outlines how agents of the Iranian government intended to discriminate against women and girls especially on the basis of gender, with these groups singled out for persecutory treatment including physical and psychological abuse, the use of derogatory language and acts of sexual violence including rape. The submission recognises in this respect that individuals have also been targeted on political grounds. It stresses, however, the intersectional nature of the violations to which women, girls and LGBTQI+ individuals have been specifically subjected by the Iranian authorities for their perceived non-compliance with established gender norms and discriminatory laws and policies.

The submission concludes with recommendations by HRA to the FFMI and the international community to establish accountability for the violations outlined in the submission.

UpRights thanks HRA for the opportunity to contribute to this important issue and in particular analysis of the crime against humanity of persecution on gender grounds. While the entirety of the submission has not been made public at this time, an executive summary of the facts is available here.