UN rights council condemns Iran crackdown, orders international probe

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday condemned Iran's repression of peaceful demonstrators following the death of Mahsa Amini, and voted to create a high-level investigation into the deadly crackdown.

With 25 votes in favour, six opposed and 16 countries abstaining, the UN's highest rights body agreed to create an international fact-finding mission to probe all violations connected with Iran's response to the ongoing protests.

There had been concerns that Iran and its allies would manage to block the resolution, and the council erupted in thunderous applause after the vote was announced.

US ambassador Michele Taylor hailed the result.

"Iranian officials will not be able to perpetrate this violent crackdown anonymously," she said in a statement. "The international community is watching."

The vote came at the end of a special session requested by Germany and Iceland with the backing of 50 countries to discuss the situation in Iran, rocked by two months of protests.

Those demonstrations were sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

Footballer arrested

Iranian authorities have grown increasingly heavy-handed in their response to the demonstrations as they have spread across the country and swelled into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since 1979.

UN rights chief Volker Turk said he had offered to visit Iran but had received no response from Tehran.

Iran however denounced the Western countries behind Thursday's meeting.

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