The fate of human rights worldwide has been saved from a great sabotage – Reuters revealed that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has withdrawn from the race for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
One is forgiven for believing that it was the result of the United Nations veto that rendered the IRI out of the election race; for the United Nations considered the IRI as a credible candidate, despite its deplorable human rights record; the Human Rights Council presented no objection to their candidacy. With much gratitude owed to the arduous efforts of human rights organizations across the world, such as Neda for a Free Iran and Human Rights Watch, and the eloquent articles published by the media, the true voice of the international community – the people and not the politicians – was heard. As the Washington Post reports, the IRI pulled out when sensing that they would face ‘embarrassment’ at the May elections after failing to secure adequate numbers of votes to win a seat at the Council.
However, having one calamity come to pass, the IRI have added insult to the would-be injury to the very fibre of human rights and the international community. The spokesperson for the IRI Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast (pictured above), stated that the IRI plans to join the “International Commission for the Protection of Women’s Rights”. The callous joke contained within this move is two-fold. Firstly, the IRI has one of the worst attitudes towards women, despite the lies presented at the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review on the IRI in Geneva on 15th February, 2010, by the Chancellor of Al Zahra University Dr Mahboubeh Mobasher. Dr Mobasher asserted that women in the IRI enjoy more rights than women in the West. Such deception is illustrated when one refers to the Civil Code of the IRI; Article 1005, for example, which enslaves women to their husband’s will where he has the legal authority to control his wife’s freedom of movement and behaviour. Furthermore, in 2003 the Governor of Khouzistan reported that forty-one women were murdered in honour killings, all of whom were under the age of twenty-one years.
Further examples of the betrayal of the sanctity of women, perpetrated by the IRI are illustrated by the "United Nations General Assembly’s Forty-fifth Session, Agenda Item 12, Report of the Economic and Social Council, The Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Note by the Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/697, 6 November 1990, at paragraph 82”. The horrors of the treatment of female detainees in prison was recorded in this report - Virgin detainees on the eve of their execution were forcibly married off to officials who would then rape them on the highly flawed reasoning that they would then go to hell for not being a virgin once they were executed.
During the Islamic Friday prayers, April 16, 2010, the cleric of Tehran, Sadigo Kazem, proclaimed another IRI delusion that women who do not wear the hijab are responsible for the spread of adultery and, thus, "increase the risk of earthquakes".
One of the recommendations made to the IRI during the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review last February, 2010, was for the IRI to become signatory to a leading international instrument that seeks to protect the rights of women – the Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Naturally, on the 17th February, 2010, the IRI rejected this recommendation before the Human Rights Council in the Plenary.
The second prong of the distasteful joke is that no such body titled the ‘International Commission on the Protection of Women’s Rights’ appears to exist, at least not on the international scene. Word searching such on the United Nations official website, as well as on Google, produced no matches. Could this be another one of the IRI’s lies, embodied as a publicity stunt? Given the few examples from an exhaustive list of the violations of the rights of women, and the IRI refusal to ratify CEDAW, one observes with cynical scepticism the IRI attempt to join an unknown organization that claims to protect the rights of women. This latest IRI joke is tantamount to the ludicrousness of Hitler claiming to protect members of the Jewish faith; however, such a joke is no laughing matter.