House of Commons backs call to remove Iran from UN’s commission on status of women

Click to play video: 'Mahsa Amini: House of Commons passes motion to remove Iran from UN Commission'
Mahsa Amini: House of Commons passes motion to remove Iran from UN Commission
WATCH: Mahsa Amini: House of Commons passes motion to remove Iran from UN Commission – Oct 31, 2022

The House of Commons has adopted two motions declaring support for growing calls to remove Iran from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Monday.

The motion, which was put forward by Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman, was adopted by unanimous consent following question period on Monday.

“Given the brutal death of Masha Amini at the hands of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the subsequent crackdown in Iran on women’s rights, civil liberties, and fundamental freedom, and the long history of grave human rights abuses and violence against women perpetuated by the Iranian state, that this House declares its support for the removal of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women,” the motion from Lantsman reads.

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A second motion put forward by Bloc Quebecois MP Andreanne Larouche called on fellow MPs to declare support for Iranians protesting for their rights in that country, and that the House of Commons “condemns the intimidation and bullying and violence against the protesters, who are supporting the movement to free women in Iran.”

Larouche’s motion also called on the UN to “exclude Iran from its organization,” and was also adopted by unanimous consent.

Unanimous consent motions do not receive formal votes, and do not always reflect official government policies. Rather, they are adopted only if no MP voices opposition to them when the motion is moved.

The motions reflect the will of the House of Commons, rather than the government itself.

Click to play video: 'Iran schoolchildren reportedly killed for protesting'
Iran schoolchildren reportedly killed for protesting

The UN commission on the status of women is a global intergovernmental body “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women” through “promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives around the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women,” according to its website.

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Earlier this year, Iran began a four-year term on the commission until 2026.

In September, 22-year-old Masha Amini, who was detained for not wearing her hijab properly as dictated by the country’s regime, died in the custody of the Iranian “morality police.”

Since then, there have been protests across Iran over Amini’s death and the regime’s longstanding violation of women’s rights, with at least 1,000 charged over ongoing unrest in Tehran.

In an open letter published in The New York Times on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly joined other female world leaders and human rights voices in condemning Iran’s violence against protesters and called for the country to be removed from the body.

The letter stated that Iran should have been disqualified for its longstanding, systemic oppression of women, as well as its recent brutality towards human rights protesters.

— with files from The Canadian Press and Reuters

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