IRAN - United Nations Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran
October 26, 2020:
The United Nations Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran was held on October 26, reviewing the new report of Javaid Rehman, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. This event was attended by the representatives of dozen United Nations members states.
In his latest report, Mr. Rehman expressed concern over the ongoing human rights violations in Iran. He particularly expressed his concerns over the regime’s use of violence against detained protesters of the major Iran protests in January 2018 and November 2019. Rehman condemned the recent execution of Iran’s wrestling champion, Navid Afkari, who was arrested during the popular uprising in 2018.
In his address to the UN’s General Assembly, Rehman said that “A clear pattern is emerging of an attempt to silence public dissent over the social, economic and political situation in Iran. In recent months, death sentences and executions have taken place against individuals alleged to have taken part in protests.”
He added that “An emblematic case was the arbitrary execution of Navid Afkari on 12 September 2020 in relation to his involvement in August 2018 protests. This grievous violation of the right to life is the latest execution in a series of protest-related death sentences, despite allegations of torture-induced forced confessions and other serious fair trial violations.”
The Iranian regime’s execution of Afkari sparked a global movement called “United for Navid,” and the campaign seeks to prohibit the regime from participating in the 2021 Olympics in Japan.
Navid’s brothers, Vahid and Habib, are currently being held incommunicado. They were sentenced respectively to 56 years and 6 months in prison, and 24 years and 3 months in prison and 74 lashes each.
The US sanctioned prison and judiciary officials involved in the execution of Navid. Neither the UN nor the EU has imposed sanctions against the regime for the widely viewed extrajudicial killing of Navid.
Rehman said that “The report I present outlines my grave concerns regarding the human rights situation in Iran, characterized by systematic violations of human rights and continued impunity. These conclusions come from my investigation into the violent Government crackdown against November 2019 and January 2020 protests, the use of torture and harsh sentences against those who protested, the harassment of victims calling for justice and the lack of accountability for those responsible.”
He continued that, “the excessive and lethal force used by security forces against the nationwide protests amounted to the worst incident of State violence in Iran in decades. State security officials intentionally used live ammunition against protesters, often aimed at the head or vital organs, resulting in over 300 verified deaths, including women and children, although the death toll is likely to be higher.”
Reuters reported last year that Iran’s regime killed about 1,500 people during protests that lasted less than 2 weeks in 2019. The fragility of the regime is on the line as witnessed by the ubiquitous unrest. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told his security forces: “Do whatever it takes to end it” in response to the widespread social and political unrest in the country at the time.
The special rapporteur’s 28-page dossier details the bloody suppression of the revolt in 2019.
“Despite strong evidence of this blatant disregard for Iran’s obligation to protect the right to life and to protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, no information was provided that any investigation consistent with international standards has been conducted to hold those responsible to account, and almost a year on, no official announcement has been made concerning the number of deaths and injuries,” Rehman wrote.
He added that “Furthermore, the victims’ families who have called for justice have faced intimidation and arrest from the authorities, or have been pressured to accept a compensation payment to drop their calls for justice. I urge the Iranian Government to work with families, not against them, and to bring those responsible for the deaths and injuries to justice.”
The Islamic Republic’s state-controlled Press TV reported that Iran’s representative to UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, Mohammad Zare’iyan, said “Those who have drawn up this report, have manipulated human rights issues against my government to distort our realities through use of incorrect information. It is not secret that taking advantage of the ‘so-called human rights issues is part of the US ‘maximum pressure’ strategy against Iranians.”
https://www.jpost.com/international/un-rapporteur-slams-irans-regime-for-execution-of-wrestler-647055 (Source: Jerusalem Post, ncr-iran.org)