Wednesday, August 21, 2019 07:30

UN extends mandate of Special Rapporteur on Iran

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The United Nations Human Rights Council has renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran.

Reuters reports that Ahmad Shaheed’s mandate to investigate human rights conditions in Iran was extended on Thursday, in a vote of 22 to 5 with 20 abstaining.

Shaheed was appointed in October as the special investigator for human rights issues in Iran and since then he has released two reports indicating a “striking pattern of human rights violations” in the country, including the oppression of journalists and government critics as well as the torture of prisoners and the “systematic suppression” of minorities.

Iran has refused to allow Shaheed to travel to Iran, and the UN Secretary General has expressed his regret over the Iranian authorities’ lack of cooperation.

Sweden presented the UN resolution, saying: “The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be of great concern. We regret that the special rapporteur, Dr. Shaheed, has not been given access to the country.”

Swedish diplomat Irina Schoulgin Nyoni said: “We strongly encourage the Iranian authorities to engage in dialogue and cooperation with this important mechanism of the Human Rights Council.”

Cuba, Bangladesh, Qatar, China and Russia voted against the resolution. Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, said human rights were being used as a pretext to promote the political interests of certain states.

Larijani maintained that Iran has cooperated with the Human Rights Council, claiming that from the standpoint of the Islamic Republic, Shaheed has been partial and unprofessional in his reports.