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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Iran attempts to defends its human rights records at the UN

I am a little behind in reporting this 'tid bit', but I wanted to put it out there before it was completely old news. Also, withe the Human Rights Council's March session starting tomorrow (March 1st-26th), it is very relevant.

On February 15th, Iran "brushed aside allegations that it has resorted to torture, executions and mass detentions to crush political opposition" and "made a defiant appearance" before the UN Human Rights Council, saying that it promoted and defended human rights and that Western critics were "exploiting the issue for political ends". Mohammad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High council for Human Rights, told the Council, when it was conducting its first review of the country (Universal Periodic Review (UPR)), that Iran is "in full compliance with the relevant international commitments it has taken on in a genuine and long-term approach to safeguard human rights".

Peter Gooderham, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, called on Iran to invite Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to investigate post-election violence and assess the state of human rights and accept a visit by Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights

In his statement to the Council, Mr. Larijani said that Iran had fully cooperated with the United Nations' human rights mechanisms and had invited Ms. Pillay to visit the country. Ms. Pillay's spokesman, Rupert Colville, confirmed this issuance and that stated that Ms. Pillay had responded that she would be unable to visit before 2011 and suggested that a team from her office be allowed to visit Iran first. Mr. Larijani has reportedly not yet responded to the suggestion. (Note that no Human Rights Council official has visited the country since 2005 and numerous requests from special investigators have remained unanswered.)


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