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.
By passing this resolution, the United Nations Human Rights Council has not only affirmed its recognition of Iran’s grave human rights violations, but it has also opened the way for the United Nations to take more serious action in the future if necessary.
As per the contents of this motion, the Islamic Republic is duty-bound to cooperate with the special investigator appointed by the Human Rights Council; and any political reaction or a refusal by the Iranian Regime will lead to more severe action by the United Nations.
Amy Smart, Media Director at ICHR, states that “the deplorable conditions in prisons and the oppression of political prisoners and peaceful protestors in Iran should be viewed with greater care and diligence by the world-wide community, so that practical measures may be employed to bring an end to human rights violations in Iran.”
United Nation’s Human Rights High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, had — in a statement issued earlier — condemned the suppression by the IRI of human rights defenders and such organisations as the Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners, the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and the Association of Human Rights Defenders; and demanded that the Iranian government puts an immediate stop to all such abuses and aggressions. The United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and some other international organisation, such as Amnesty International, have issued similar demands in the past; however, the Islamic Republic has never yielded to these humanitarian appeals and has repeatedly continued its violent abuse against human-rights lawyers, students, journalists, writers, artists, labour activists, political activists and civilian protestors. Not only has the Islamic Regime been responsible for the death of some of the peaceful protestors, it has also executed a number of political prisoners,
In his statement of 26 March 2011 to the International Centre for Human Rights, human rights lawyer and Senior Advisor to ICHR, Mohammad Mostafaei, expresses his concerns about Iran’s reaction to this motion. Mostafaei predicts Iran’s refusal in allowing a special investigator to enter Iranian soil and believes that, should that happen, the matter will need to be referred to the Security Council and ultimately to the International Court of Justice for the crimes committed by the Regime against humanity.
However, even if Iran does allow the investigation to proceed, Mostafaei believes that the right conditions for a clear and unbiased investigation will not be provided by the IRI. For this reason, even at great risk to his own safety, Mr. Mostafaei has declared his readiness and availability to accompany the investigator appointed by the Human Rights Council to Iran in order to assist in bringing to light the documentations and files of the victims of human-rights abuse and in uncovering the mechanisms employed by Iranian security forces for torturing the people of that country.
The International Centre for Human Rights regards the United Nation’s decision to appoint a special investigator as a victory for the people of Iran and in particular for human rights activists as well as prisoners of conscience and political prisoners (some of whom are awaiting execution); and is making an appeal to the international community to hail this motion and to continue ever more assiduously its conscientious efforts towards eliminating human-rights abuse in Iran.
The International Centre for Human Rights