Monday, 1 March 2010

Human Rights Shall Perish Should the IRI Win UN Human Rights Council Election in May, 2010


On the 13th May, 2010, the fate of the protection of human rights world-wide shall be determined. The world’s second worst human rights transgressor, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), will witness whether their campaign to win the election for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Council) will come into fruition.

The
192 member states of the UN General Assembly will cast their votes by secret ballot on the 13 May, 2010, in New York, USA. Membership of the Council is divided into 5 regions: i) African States, ii) Asian States, iii) Eastern European States, iv) Latin-American and Caribbean States, and v) Western European and other States. The IRI is candidate to representing the Asian states at the Council. There are at present thirteen Asian states who are members, in which four seats are soon to become vacant. Five Asian states have submitted themselves as candidates: Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, Qatar, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Four of such will be elected to sit on the Council; however, one state will not have this honour. Such a state must be the IRI.

Following the Council's 7th session in its Universal Periodic Review of the situation of human rights in the IRI, as well as since the Council’s establishment, it has not introduced, nor even adopted a single resolution condemning Iran. The Council has failed to hold a single special session on the human rights crisis in the IRI. Furthermore, it has failed to mandate any investigation into the purported human rights violations before, and most importantly, after the disputed presidential election of June 12, 2009. There is serious concern that the Council has become a political tool not just for the 'west', but in favour of religious extremism. This tool will become sharper, equipping the IRI to wield it as a weapon should they become elected members of the Council.

On page 7 of the
IRI pledge, it has been argued that the IRI “is fully convinced that politicization, selective approach and application of double standards significantly impede the genuine promotion of human rights...and should be avoided”. Nothing could be closer to the truth, given the IRI authorities use politics, law and religion to perpetrate their heinous violations of human rights; hence such is a compelling rationale for why the IRI should not be elected. The IRI have national laws that call for fair trials and non-discriminatory treatment of minorities; they call for the protection and promotion of human rights world-wide when presenting at the Councils 7th session; however, their conduct is unequivocal in demonstrating a blatant disregard for any provision and mechanism of human rights, both nationally and internationally.

The Bahai minority have endured decades of persecution and summary executions, simply for following a different line of religion to the ruling elites. Other minority groups, such as Kurds, Azeris, Baloch and Ahwaz Arabs have been subject to unfair and harsh human rights abuses. Women are heavily subjugated by the Civil and Penal Code of the IRI, for example, under the Penal Code a husband may execute his wife if he finds she has committed adultery; however, if a wife kills her cheating husband the state executes her for murder. A disturbing finding of the UN Report of the Economic and Social Council, 6/11/1990 (Doc. A/45/697) was that virgin women condemned to death were forcibly married to officials on the eve of their execution. These officials would then rape these condemned women on the assumption that such would prevent them from going to heaven. This is a blatant violation of Article 7 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which prohibits torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment. This point of law was successfully argued in the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in 1998 (IT-95-17/1-PT) setting the precedent, which elaborated:

“Rape of a detainee by an official of the State must be considered to be a grave and abhorrent form of ill-treatment given the ease with which the offender can exploit the vulnerability and weakened resistance of his victim”. Such authorities of the IRI are bidding to join the Human Rights Council; it is as ludicrous as having a fox guard the hen-house.

The rate of child executions rival China’s gross human rights record – in 2009, 160 juveniles were on death-row. Dissenting voices are silenced by the sound of the tightening of the noose as the IRI execute their brutal clamp-down on academics, poets, writers and journalists for even remotely questioning any arm of the government. The UN recommendation to release such illegally detained persons (Austria) was rejected by the IRI authorities at the Council’s 2010 UPR. Such is a compelling rationale for why the IRI should not be elected.

Since the Council’s establishment there has not been a single resolution condemning Iran. The Council has failed to hold a single special session on the human rights crisis in the IRI. Furthermore, it has failed to mandate any investigation into the purported human rights violations before, and most importantly, after the violence following the disputed presidential election of June 12, 2009. The best the UN human rights bodies issued were recommendations in their ‘concluding observations’ almost ten years ago. The IRI has not been subject to a single Council’s Special Session on its lamentable human rights record. Now the doors are opening for the IRI to join the Council in the international arena.

This may give rise to the serious concern that the Council has become a political tool for those who favour of religious extremism and the hidden agendas of their governments. This tool will become sharper, equipping the IRI to wield it as a weapon should they become elected members of the Council, begging the questions what drastic action would the IRI stir against non-Islamic states, such as Israel or ‘the west’; and what misuses, and abuses, of power would the IRI endorse if they were to be elected in May, 2010? This could be an opportunity for the IRI to infiltrate the Council and radicalize other members with its fanaticism.

As futile as it may appear to be, the embassies of the countries that form the UN General Assembly must be lobbied in illustrating the serious discontent people around the world have towards the IRI gaining membership to such an international human rights platform. This may be undertaken in the form of letters; demonstrations outside relevant embassies; petitions and media attention.

What hope will there be for human rights if a key transgressor sits on a crucial international human rights body?

7 comments:

  1. Which sort of psychopath would have the gall to promote this terrorist regime to the *Human Rights* Council? My god...

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  2. What does it mean"The world’s second worst human rights transgressor";
    let us put a human face on it so it is not an abstract statement and let everybody know so "we don't say we did not know" as it has been the case in the past which I was reminded today by a caring person;
    It means that someone innocent simply executed because of guilt by association, which was the case of Navy Captain Nasser Farrokhnia,
    or simply a cancer patient is refused treatment and dies in horrible pain in Evin prison which was the case of a Navy Captain just a month ago

    It means assassination of some 243 Iranian opposition leaders in European soil such as Dr. Ghasemloo the Kurdish leader, Dr. Bakhtiar the last Prime Minister of the Shah and stabbing of the Salman Rushdi's Italian and japanese publishers and translator.

    It means Killing some 30,000 plus over a weekend back in Sep. 1988 which they have been buried in mass graves named such as Khavaran;

    It means killing 100 plus people such as Neda Agha Sultan while peacefully protesting the last June's election results;

    It means prisoners dying under torture in Kahrisak prison that even the regime admits to it but refuses to prosecute the interrogators;

    It means Killing Zahra Kazemi, the dual citizen (Canadian/Iranian) reporter under torture;

    It means having the highest number of journalist and blogger in jail according to reporters without borders and among them was Maziar Bahari the news Week correspondent;
    It means raiding middle of the night and grabbing residents and ransacking their homes and cars;
    Dear friends the list is on and on without end at sight, these were just few samples of the more violant abuses by IRI, It is a travesty of justice for Iran to gain a seat at UN's most prestigious body, I believe the countries who will vote in favor of Iran, themselves would be committing a violation themselves by allowing Iran to continue to violate not only the rights of Iranians but other violators would have a friend in the council as well.
    So you have the right idea Mehrtash, we have to publicize this issue as wide as we can for the short term and for the long term we have to think and come together and fight this evil systematically and effectively.

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  3. I simply cannot imagine a more sinister and totally appalling absurdity than the IRI winning a seat at the UN Human Rights Council.
    It would reduce the UN's credibility to zero.
    It would mean their stance on the importance of Human Rights would be totally meaningless. Perhaps worst of all, it would be such a terrible insult to all those Iranians who have been tortured and/or murdered by the regime and to the countless thousands still languishing in its terrible prisons and other places of torture.
    This simply must not happen!

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  4. Dear Homayoun,

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful comment especially by bring an example of how IRI killed innocent and patriot person like my dad (Nasser Farrokhnia) after more than 25 years of hard work to protect the country, to protect IRAN.

    Unlike so many people who decided to leave the country in the beginning of Iran revolution, my dad chose to stay and for many years contributed in the war as well as helping so many people who lost their homes, families and simply everything in the war.

    Killing a healthy, loveable man who brought smile to everybody’s life and replacing evil instead, beyond doubt has NO place in UN Human Rights election.

    Dorood

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  5. Dear Homayoun,

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful comment especially by bring an example of how IRI killed innocent and patriot person like my dad (Nasser Farrokhnia) after more than 25 years of hard work to protect the country, to protect IRAN.

    Unlike so many people who decided to leave the country in the beginning of Iran revolution, my dad chose to stay and for many years contributed in the war as well as helping so many people who lost their homes, families and simply everything in the war.

    Killing a healthy, loveable man who brought smile to everybody’s life and replacing evil instead, beyond doubt has NO place in UN Human Rights election.

    Dorood

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  6. Thank you for honouring me with your comments. It is seriously disconcerting that such a criminal of international law, and transgressor of human rights could even be considered a candidate for the Human Rights Council. The people in Iran, along with Sudan and other victims of human rights abuses do not need this.

    We must campaign.

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  7. Dear Noushin,
    My heart not only aches for you but for all the innocent people that have lost their lives either directly under torture and executions or indirectly due to the ill policies of this barbaric regime;
    Captain Alborz Ghasemi just died in prison a month ago, he was arrested some 18 month ago and was an Instructor at Navy;s College,
    All the Freedom loving people of the world have to come together and put an stop to IRI's madness.
    Peace

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