India on Thursday abstained from a vote in the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council that set up a fact-finding mission to probe human rights violations in Iran during the crackdown on the recent “anti-hijab” protests.
The protests had broken out after the custody death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in September after she was arrested for violating the country’s strict dress code for women. While 25 of the 47 countries voted in favour of setting up the fact-finding mission, India was among the 16 that abstained. The remaining six voted against the motion.
India has studiously avoided commenting on the agitation. Asked for a comment on the Iran protests during Thursday’s weekly briefing, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stuck to the “no comment” response given a couple of weeks earlier to a similar question.
Nor has India explained its vote of abstention in the UNHRC. However, India usually avoids commenting on what it sees as internal affairs of another country, Pakistan excepted. On Thursday, when the UNHRC took up the issue at a special session in Geneva, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Ali Bagheri Kani, was in New Delhi for talks.