US stands with women in Iran as they continue to push for their rights: Harris

The United States continues to stand with the “brave women of Iran” as they protest peacefully for their fundamental rights and basic human dignity, US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement on Wednesday.

All people in Iran must have the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and Iran must end its use of violence against its own citizens simply for exercising their fundamental freedoms, she said.

Harris added that the United States believes that no nation that systematically abuses the rights of women and girls should play a role in any international or United Nations body charged with protecting these very same rights.

Protests in Iran started after a young Kurd woman, Mahsa Amini, was killed in police custody in September for “improper outfit.” Her death resulted in widespread protests by Iranians in Iran and across the world, posing a challenge to the Iranian regime.

Harris said Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on the UN Commission on the Status of Women; Iran’s very presence discredits the integrity of its membership and the work to advance its mandate.

“This is why today the United States is announcing our intention to work with our partners to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women,” she said.

According to her, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and its members are charged with “promoting women’s rights” and addressing “urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women’s rights.”

“To all of those protesting I say again, we see you and we hear you. I am inspired by your bravery, as are people around the world,” Harris said. “We will continue to hold accountable the Iranian officials and entities responsible for the violence against protestors.”

Figures by HRANA news agency show that 287 protesters have been killed in the unrest as of end October including 46 minors. Some 36 members of the security forces were also killed; and 14,160 people have been arrested, including about 300 students, in protests in 133 cities and towns, and at 129 universities, it said.