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UN rights council to hold urgent session on Iran

GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council announced on Monday it would hold an urgent session this month on Iran, where a brutal crackdown on mass protests has left hundreds dead.The United Nations’ highest rights body said a special session on “the deteriorating human rights situation” in Iran would be held on November 24.The decision comes after the German and Icelandic ambassadors to the UN in Geneva submitted a request for such a meeting late on Friday.The support of 16 of the Human Rights Council’s 47 members — more than a third — is required to convene a special session outside the three regular ones held each year.So far, 44 countries, including 17 Council members, have backed the call, the body said.The request follows eight weeks of protests in Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.At least 326 people have been killed in the crackdown on the protests, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR), as the demonstrations have grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the 1979 fall of the shah.Thousands of peaceful protesters have also been arrested, according to UN rights experts, including many women, children, lawyers, activists and journalists.

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