Protestors in New York Protestors in New York 

UN concerned over Iran unrest

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says that the situation in Iran is critical, while UNICEF says it is deeply concerned about reports of the deaths of children

By Nathan Morley

Three months into a nationwide uprising, the U.N. human rights chief, Volker Turk, has been discussing a hardening of Iranian authorities' response to protests.

The UN said the rising number of deaths from demonstrations, including those of two children at the weekend, showed how critical situation across Iran has become.

The demonstrations have resulted in more than 300 deaths in the past two months. It is reported that work stoppages and strikes have been recorded – a sign of growing pressure on the administration.

Later this week, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva will hold a debate on the protests.

Last week, UNICEF said it remained deeply concerned by reports of children being killed, injured, and detained in Iran.

Despite a lack of official data, it is reported that since late September an estimated 50 children have reportedly lost their lives in public unrest there.

“This is terrifying and must stop”, UNICEF said.

The protests erupted in mid-September after the death of Mahsa Amini while she was held in police detention for supposedly violating the country’s hijab law.

Separately, Iran announced earlier that it had begun producing uranium enriched to 60 percent at its Fordo plant.

The move was part of Iran's response to the UN nuclear watchdog's adoption last week of a censure motion drafted by Western governments accusing it of non-cooperation.

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22 November 2022, 17:00