Washington, DC – A bipartisan group of Senators are urging the Obama Administration to undertake serious efforts to address Iran’s human rights crisis at the United Nations this fall. The group, led by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the Obama Administration to work to pass a resolution at the United Nations establishing a human rights monitor for Iran.
From 1984 to 2002, a mandate for an independent human rights monitor for Iran was in place at the UN and, over this time, Iran’s human rights record improved. However, the mandate lapsed in 2002 and has not been renewed.
The Senate letter echoes calls from organizations concerned about the human rights crisis in Iran, including NIAC, urging that the Obama Administration actively support the establishment of a UN human rights monitor.
Since the June 12, 2009, Iranian elections, the human rights situation there has deteriorated significantly. Peaceful protesters have been killed, thousands of Iranians have been detained, human rights activists have been targeted, and political prisoners have been executed.
The US joined the UN Human Rights Council in June 2009, but no effective formal measures have been pursued to hold Iran accountable for human rights violations. The Obama Administration did work with Norway and other countries to read a statement at the UN Human Rights Council condemning Iran’s human rights abuses, and separately a resolution was passed addressing human rights violations in Iran. However, despite calls by human rights activists and organizations including NIAC, the Administration has not yet worked to support the establishment of any enforcement measures to address Iran’s human rights violations.