November 18, 2010

NIAC Renews Call for UN Human Rights Monitor on Iran

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Elwood
Phone: 202-423-7957
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes today’s advancement of a United Nations resolution concerning the situation of human rights in Iran but is deeply disappointed that the resolution fails to establish a mandate for an independent human rights monitor on Iran as called for by the international human rights community.

The resolution passed by a vote of 80 in favor, 44 against and 57 abstentions after the Iranian delegation called for a procedural “no-action” motion to remove the resolution from consideration.  The “no-action” motion was defeated by 51 in favor, 91 against, and 32 abstentions. The margin of victory was greater than previous years, including last year, reflecting growing international concern about the situation in Iran and demonstrating that there was room for additional measures in the resolution without risking its failure.

NIAC reiterates its call for the United States to work with the international community to support the establishment of an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran to report on violations taking place there. 

“There must be a serious international effort to extend protection to the people of Iran who continue their struggle to attain their human rights and uphold rule of law.  Unfortunately, this resolution falls short,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director.  “We welcome and encourage the UN’s efforts to catalogue Iran’s human rights violations, but the international community’s response continues to be inadequate compared to the scale of the crisis in Iran.”

Iran’s government continues to engage in a systematic campaign of repression aimed at human rights defenders and political activists.  At present, reports indicate that at least five hundred prisoners of conscience are being detained in Iran, including lawyers, activists, and journalists working to defend and bring attention to victims and their cases.

Similar Iran resolutions to the one that was advanced today have been introduced annually at the UN General Assembly by Canada and cosponsored by the US and numerous other states.  No special measures have been enacted at the UN to address the heightened level of human rights abuses occurring in Iran since 2009.

“Today’s resolution, like the one passed last year during Iran’s post-election turmoil, is not significantly different from resolutions that have been adopted in previous years,” said Abdi.  “The resolve of the Obama Administration and the international community to stand for the human rights of the Iranian people is being tested. It is critical that the Administration step up to the challenge.”

The resolution that advanced today is expected to pass the full UN General Assembly in December.  The resolution requests that the UN Secretary General issue a report that will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March.  NIAC calls on the United States, as a member of the Human Rights Council, to work with other member states to ensure an independent monitor is established to report regularly to the world on the situation in Iran. NIAC also calls on the Secretary General to provide concrete recommendations to the international community on how to advance implementation of the resolution.




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