Violations of Human Rights in Iran
Ottawa, September 29, 2022: The United Nations’ most senior experts on Human Rights have recently
strongly condemned “Iran’s sustained repression and systematic discrimination against women” and its
recent manifestation, the death of Masha Amini.*
The statement of condemnation was jointly signed by 10 UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights,
including discrimination against women and girls, violence against women, the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the situation of human rights
The breadth and variety of UN voices speaking out against the violence in the Islamic Republic of Iran
tells us three key things:
First, the arrest and death of Ms. Amini was not just an act of violence against one person, it was an act of violence perpetrated against all women and girls in Iran.
Second, the men, women and children of Iran who have taken to the streets since Ms. Amini’s death are not just protesters, they are human rights defenders.
Third, Iran is perpetuating policies and legislation which violate the universality of human rights.
From the very foundation of unjust and discriminatory laws, to the vicious enforcement of these violations
of human rights, to continued restrictions on communication, assembly and the rights of civil society, the
recent Government of Iran actions are a clear violation of all of the principles the UN defends.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, recently took the floor at the UN
General Assembly to call for compassion and justice. Citing the success of Iran’s Islamic revolution as the
realization of justice and fairness, President Ebrahim Raisi cited oppression as a common threat to
humanity and noted that the protection of human rights is a solemn duty of his country.
His rationale was based on perceived double standards, including Canada’s persecution of Indigenous
Peoples. Citing mass graves from the residential school programme, he suggested that Canada, and
Canadians are not entitled to a voice in the global dialogue on human rights. By extension this is a
rejection of the work of Canadians across our country to defend the rights of Iran’s women, children, and
The UN Declaration on Human Rights affirms that human rights are universal – every country, every
individual has the right and responsibility to protect human rights. Defending human rights is not a task
that is earned, nor is it a task that can be withdrawn by another, regardless of their position or faith.
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