The UN Human Rights Council has launched an independent investigation into ongoing violence against peaceful protesters in Iran. Experts should document violations of human rights and collect evidence so that those responsible for the violence can one day be held accountable, as Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said.

The Council passed a corresponding resolution on Thursday in Geneva by 25 votes to 6, with 16 abstentions. Baerbock had come specifically to give a voice to the thousands of people in Iran who are campaigning solely for a life with dignity and without discrimination, as she said.

China tried at the last minute to remove the paragraph that called for the independent investigation from the resolution. The German ambassador rejected this on behalf of the supporters, and the motion had no chance in a vote.

Human rights leave no room for interpretation, Baerbock said. The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed and also applies in Iran. “The Human Rights Council was created to be the voice of the people whose indivisible rights are being denied in their homes,” she later told reporters. “When the right to sovereignty is abused to oppress one’s own people and thereby also to trample on the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations must speak out.”

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