United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his growing concern about reports of casualties related to the protests in Iran, calling on the authorities to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
Guterres said in a statement issued Tuesday that he was "closely following" the ongoing protests in Iran, which began with Mahasa Amini's death.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated that the Secretary-General stressed to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sept. 22 "the need to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association."
Guterres said he was increasingly concerned "about reports of rising fatalities, including women and children, related to the protests."
The Secretary-General called on the security forces to "refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force" and appealed to all to "exercise utmost restraint to avoid further escalation."
He concluded his statement by underling "the need for a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent authority."
In a statement, the UN Women also announced its support for the "women of Iran in their rightful demands to protest injustice without reprisal, and to be free to exercise their bodily autonomy, including their choice of dress."
It affirmed that it "supports them in seeking accountability, and the upholding of their basic human rights as stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations," urging relevant authorities "support and enable the expression of their full human rights in a safe environment without fear of violence, prosecution, or persecution."
Earlier, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on the authorities to ensure the rights to due process and to release all who have been arbitrarily detained.
The OHCHR urged the Iranian authorities to conduct an "adequate" investigation into the circumstances surrounding Amini's death and hold all perpetrators accountable.