The Human Rights Council must renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran - Priority #HRC28

Press release
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Despite the political rapprochement between Western states and Iran, and advances on nuclear negotiations (although their deadline has again been extended to June 2015) that have taken place under President Rouhani’s administration, the human rights situation inside Iran has objectively deteriorated over the past year and a half. The repression of basic freedoms, discrimination against women and against ethnic and religious minorities, denial of due process, particularly for the many prisoners of conscience, and other human rights violations continue to take place on a daily basis. The death penalty continues to be applied in violation of international law and standards for due process, exemplified by the case of Saman Naseem, recently secretly executed for an ambiguously defined religious crime he allegedly committed when he was 17. Such violations of human rights in Iran are systemic, widespread and systematic.

Against this backdrop, at the Human Rights Council’s 28th session (HRC 28), a “procedural” resolution (i.e., aiming to extend the mandate of the existing Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran to allow him to continue to carry out his work) will be presented. FIDH calls on the Human Rights Council (HRC) to adopt it. At the very minimum, the resolution should urge Iran to cooperate with the United Nations, in particular by allowing the Special Rapporteur to visit the country (which it has failed to do since the Special Rapporteur’s mandate was created, four years ago).

Iran’s appalling human rights record must continue to be monitored, discussed and publicly reported upon within the HRC, the UN body explicitly charged with promoting and protecting human rights. In recent years, the HRC has simply adopted “procedural” resolutions extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, leaving it to the General Assembly’s Third Committee to adopt substantial resolutions on the situation of human rights the country. Given its mandate, the HRC should go beyond adopting procedural resolutions, which bears the risk of appearing as a routine exercise.

At HRC 28, in order to keep the attention of the Council high on Iran, FIDH will organize a side event on the systematic repression of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and religious minorities in the country, in cooperation with the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), a member organization of FIDH, and the Baha’i International Community (BIC). On this occasion, FIDH President Karim Lahidji will chair a panel composed of Dr. Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of DHRC), and Ms. Diane Ala’i (BIC’s Representative to the United Nations).

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