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NIAC Board Member Highlights Iran's Human Rights Abuses at UN

On June 10th, the United Nations Human Rights Council held a review of Iran's human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. Member states and stakeholder organizations participated in the review, including NIAC Board Member Dokhi Fassihian and journalist Omid Memarian.

Dokhi Fassihian

Dokhi Fassihian

Washington, DC - On June 10th, the United Nations Human Rights Council held a review of Iran's human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. Member states and stakeholder organizations participated in the review, including NIAC Board Member Dokhi Fassihian, on behalf of the Democracy Coalition Project, and journalist Omid Memarian, on behalf of CIVICUS. (Memarian's statement text, video)

Dokhi Fassihian's statement on behalf of the Democracy Coalition Project is below (video):

Mr. President. I am speaking on behalf of the Democracy Coalition Project in cooperation with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The national report of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the compilation of stakeholders submissions and the report of the UPR Working Group have all demonstrated the massive degree to which human rights practices in the Islamic Republic of Iran are at variance with international treaty obligations. In rejecting 45 recommendations made by fellow members of the international community, the Government of Iran has turned its Universal Periodic Review into a show of deep contempt for the human rights standards and practices upheld by the United Nations. In direct contravention of its standing invitation, Iran rejected the recommendation to grant access to special procedure mandate holders, including those on torture, arbitrary detentions and judicial independence, which are all severe problems in Iran. Iran explicitly rejected compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it has joined, to abolish juvenile executions. Iran rejected internationally accepted treaties vital to human rights and women’s rights, including CEDAW and the Convention against Torture.

Mr. President, the Iranian delegation in February told this Council that 21 recommendations, including the protection of civil and political rights, made by its fellow states were either already implemented, or are in the process of implementation. The facts on the ground strongly negate this assertion. Hundreds of individuals remain in prison solely on the basis of their opinions and beliefs; continue to suffer torture; and are denied fair trial. Since November 2009 alone, the government has carried out the secret executions of nine political prisoners. Those responsible for these violations enjoy impunity. In the interactive dialogue, the Iranian delegation questioned the universality of human rights standards based on cultural relativism. Iranian human rights defenders reject this notion, and point out that human rights violations cannot be condoned under the guise of culture in order to provide impunity.

Mr. President, in rejecting compliance with the ICCPR on the basis of conflicts with its own penal code, the Islamic Republic has challenged a basic premise of international law fundamental to the protection and promotion of human rights. It is also denying the democratic aspirations of its own people. We insist that Iran and any other state making similar claims be challenged by the Human Rights Council, and on that basis, the Council should establish specific follow-up mechanism guided by article 37 of the Institution Building package. Thank you.

 

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