International Centre for Human Rights (ICHR): Toronto, Canada - On Thursday 24 March 2011, The United Nations Human Rights Council passed the motion initiated by Sweden to send a special human rights investigator to Iran -- with 22 countries voting in the affirmative while 7 countries voted against it and 14 abstained. This action marks the start of a new chapter in the Council's view of the violations of human rights in that country, and serves as the coming to fruition of tireless work by human rights activists around the world who have been labouring to make the dispatch of a special investigator to Iran a reality.
The International Centre for Human Rights: The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to appoint a special human rights investigator on Iran.
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted today to appoint a special rapporteur to look into the situation in Iran, expressing concern over its lack of cooperation with a previous General Assembly call for the country’s authorities to improve their human rights record, according to UN News Center.
In a resolution adopted with 22 votes in favour, seven against and 14 abstentions, the 47-member Council said the rapporteur would report to both the Council and to the General Assembly.
The text also called on the Iranian Government to grant access to the country for the independent human rights expert who will take up the rapporteur post.
Earlier this month Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released an interim report to the Council on the human rights situation within Iran, noting “many areas of continuing concern.”
Mr. Ban said he had been “deeply troubled by reports of increased executions, amputations, arbitrary arrest and detention, unfair trials, and possible torture and ill-treatment of human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and opposition activists.”
The report encouraged the Government in Tehran to address the concerns raised and to fully guarantee freedom of expression and assembly.
Iranian authorities had taken some positive steps, Mr. Ban’s report noted, such as preventing stoning from being used as a method of execution and limiting the application of the death penalty on juvenile offenders.
But “these measures have not been systematically enforced and cases of this nature continue to arise.”
Speaking against the resolution, Iranian representative Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi warned that the Council must not be the domain of the few and must avoid politicization and double standards.
In other developments, the Council agreed to extend the mandate of the special rapporteurs on the following subjects: the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, human rights defenders, minority issues and violence against women.
Yesterday the Council agreed to appoint a special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, as well as members of working groups or expert mechanisms on several other subjects.
The International Centre for Human Rights: With only days before the Spring Equinox and the Festival of Norouz, which marks the arrival of the New Year in Iran, Iranians remain perplexed by the atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic. The accounts of executions, tortures, rapes and false confessions are far too many to recount and too painful to describe in this statement (but available for full disclosure upon request!)
Justice has lost all meaning and the country's many prisons have turned into torture-houses filled far over capacity with innocent men and women who have simply dared to ask for democracy and justice. It should be noted that human-rights activists constitute a great number of these innocent prisoners who are waiting for trial or living out their sentences under incredibly harsh conditions.
Moreover, the general public is being violently attacked by the revolutionary guards, plain-clothes officers, as well as the members of the "Basij" Group, who have been employed by the regime's revolutionary guard for the mere purpose of attacking the crowds and imparting fear in the hearts of the country's inhabitants.
What started with a peaceful march in the summer of 2009, when the nation was demanding its votes after the last Presidential elections, has now turned into a nation-wide protest against the prevailing dictatorship in Iran. The people of Iran have begun to speak out with their democracy-seeking slogans, only to be beaten to silence with the brutally violent response of the government.
The world cannot sit idle and watch with indifference the atrocity of this tyrannical behaviour. The world must step up and speak out in defence of human and civil rights in Iran. The people of Iran -- like those of any other nationality -- are entitled to democracy in their land.
The International Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) -- in Toronto, Canada -- is herewith issuing a strong appeal to the Canadian government to support the efforts initiated in Sweden to have the United Nations Human Rights Council appoint and dispatch to Iran a special investigator to look into the grave violations of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It is our ardent hope that Canada, following the exemplary precedence she has set in supporting democracy and human rights, will lend a strong voice to this plight and pursue this vial task with diligence -- thus bringing hope to a nation that has longed for decades to see justice prevail.
The International Centre for Human Rights