FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Washington, DC – National Iranian American Council (NIAC) issued the following statement regarding the UN’s 21-9 vote to renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran:
“NIAC welcomes this morning’s UN Human Rights Council vote to renew the mandate for the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed. Over the past few years, the Special Rapporteur’s reports have been critical to shining a light on human rights violations in Iran. The mandate renewal marks an important step in ensuring that Iran’s government is held accountable for rights violations and begins the process of respecting its citizens and human rights.
“NIAC reiterates its call for Iran’s government to permit the Special Rapporteur to visit the country and to respond honestly and faithfully to the Special Rapporteur’s numerous requests for information. Reports that the Special Rapporteur has been in contact and met with high ranking officials in Iran’s Judiciary, the branch of government responsible for the troubling execution rate in Iran, are a promising first step. Since the Special Rapporteur was given a mandate to investigate human rights abuses in Iran in March 2011, Iran’s government has refused to permit an in-country visit and has been non-responsive to many of the Special Rapporteur’s requests for information. NIAC hopes that this new outreach with Iranian officials will yield increased cooperation.
“NIAC has remained a strong and sustained supporter of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate and has worked to support it, beginning with NIAC’s advocacy for the reestablishment of the mandate in 2011. NIAC believes that multilateral monitoring and accountability mechanisms, such as that of the UN Secretary-General, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, and NGO work, are vital to ensuring that Iran’s government takes the steps required to respect its citizens’ rights.
“NIAC also strongly supports the recent diplomatic outreach with Iran by the United States and other countries that can yield benefits in the human rights situation, as dialogue encourages and supports Iran’s burgeoning civil society. NIAC has consistently supported broadening the dialogue to include human rights. We hope that President Rouhani lives up to the promise of his campaign to the Iranian people and that his government will work with the Special Rapporteur to ensure that necessary reforms are undertaken to ensure Iran upholds its human rights obligations.”