America’s top diplomat for Iran highlights CNN sexual assault investigation which revealed sexual assaults on male and female activists, calling the report “inexplicable”.
Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, said the regime would not succeed in its efforts to crush the protests that have spread across the country over the past two months.
“This report describes unspeakable acts of sexual violence in detention centers by Iranian officials,” Robert Malley, the US special envoy to Iran, wrote in a letter on Thursday. Tweet Regarding the CNN investigation. “It is a stark reminder of what is at stake for the Iranian people – and how far the regime will go in its futile effort to quell dissent.”
Iran has since been roiled by anti-regime protests died in september Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained by the country’s morality police for not wearing the hijab properly.
In a CNN investigation, published Monday, secret testimony revealed sexual violence against protesters, including boys, in Iran’s detention centers since the unrest began.
CNN went to the area near Iraq’s border with Iran, interviewing eyewitnesses who had left the country and corroborating accounts from survivors and sources inside and outside Iran. CNN confirmed multiple reports of sexual violence against protesters and heard about many more.
At least one of these resulted in serious injuries, and another involved the rape of an underage boy. In some cases uncovered by CNN, according to sources who spoke to victims, the sexual assault was filmed and protesters were blackmailed into silence.
Malley has led a US negotiating team to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – from which former President Donald Trump withdrew – for nearly two years. The deal would see Iran freeze its uranium enrichment program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran’s violent crackdown on protesters has stalled the talks. In October, Malley said that the US was not going to “waste its time” on the nuclear deal “if nothing is going to happen”.
He said the US is still committed to diplomacy to halt Iran’s nuclear program, but has shifted its focus from efforts to a nuclear deal amid widespread protests in Iran and Transfer of arms from Tehran to Moscow for the war in Ukraine.
The special envoy’s comments reflected how stalled negotiations have become to restore the nuclear deal – talks that just months ago the US and allies believed had reached a breakthrough. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday that Iran had been enriched by 60%. Its underground Fordow nuclear facility.
In the past week, more than 40 people, including at least two children, have died as protests rocked Iran, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHR). Kurdish areas of the country bore the brunt of the crackdown, with social media videos showing large deployments of Iranian military forces in the Kurdish towns of Javanrud and Saqqez. The video also shows security forces killing unarmed protesters with live fire.
UN human rights chief Volker Turk said the rising death toll underscored the regime’s crackdown on protesters and the “serious situation in the country”. According to the United Nations, more than 300 people have been killed since the protests began in mid-September.
According to OCHR, more than 40 children have been killed since the protests began in September, including two 16-year-old boys who died over the weekend. In a statement, it also addressed the crackdown on high-profile Iranians, including celebrities and athletes.
on Sunday, Iranian actresses Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayun Riahi were arrested for showing their support for the online protest movement.
In a further sign of growing discontent in Iran, the national soccer team did not sing the national anthem at the start of their World Cup match with England on Monday.
The UN agency reminded the Iranian authorities of their obligation under international human rights law to “respect and ensure the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression”.
“We call on the authorities to release all those detained in connection with the exercise of their rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, and to drop the charges against them,” the OCHR said.
According to the United Nations, more than 14,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests. At least six of them have been sentenced to death.