Statement by Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance Luise Amtsberg on the situation in Iran

28.09.2022 - Press release

The violent death of 22‑year‑old Zhina “Mahsa” Amini in the custody of the Iranian morality police brings home the dramatic human rights situation in Iran. The victims of this extreme violence are, as is so often the case, women. And it is many women – daughters, mothers, sisters and granddaughters – who, despite this repression on the part of the Government, are now risking their lives in order to demonstrate for their fundamental rights. They are demonstrating against the massive restrictions to women’s rights, against the violation of the freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, against tyranny, the death penalty and extrajudicial executions, and against torture, enforced disappearances and systematic impunity.

The Iranian security forces have already responded to the demonstrators with harsh violence and are imposing further restrictions to civil liberties such as limiting internet access. The President’s call for a crackdown on demonstrators is deeply concerning and raises fears that the security apparatus could now resort to still more brutal means. Despite this tremendous threat, civil society is taking to the streets to fight for its rights from Tehran to West Azerbaijan. The international community must speak out clearly and unambiguously on the issue of repression and violence by the security forces and condemn these steps. The Federal Government will continue to keep up the pressure.

This is why we are committed at EU level to listing those responsible for this under the EU’s sanctions regime. We will support a supraregional statement by several countries in the UN Human Rights Council condemning the flagrant violation of women’s rights and calling on Iran to uphold the right to the freedom of expression and assembly. We will also table these issues at the negotiations in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly this autumn.

Moreover, the coalition agreement stipulates that the Federal Government expects the Iranian Government to improve the country’s disastrous human rights situation and to release all political prisoners. Especially with a feminist foreign policy in mind, this means that we must continue to call resolutely on Iran for human rights and especially women’s rights to be respected. The urgent meeting with the Iranian Ambassador at the Federal Foreign Office on Monday was an important step to this end. Furthermore, the situation report, which is one of the foundations of the decision-making practice of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, is being updated.

I expressly support the manifold expressions of solidarity with the women in Iran made in Germany and around the world. This solidarity is important in order to remind them that they are not alone.


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