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Mandate For Special Rapporteur For Iran Renewed


Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As the Special Rapporteur’s March 13 report indicates, while there has been some welcome change in rhetoric from the Iranian government, there has been no significant improvement in Iran’s overall human rights situation.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has extended the mandate for the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran. The March 28 vote on the resolution saw 21 countries vote in favor, 9 vote against, and 16 abstain.

The resolution expressed “serious concern” at the developments noted in the report that Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed submitted to the Council earlier in March, and urged the government of Iran to start cooperating fully with Mr. Shaheed.

The United States welcomes the resolution by the Council, which shows that human rights abuses suffered by the Iranian people at the hands of their government are a matter deserving the focused attention of the international community.

As the Special Rapporteur’s March 13 report indicates, while there has been some welcome change in rhetoric from the Iranian government, there has been no significant improvement in Iran’s overall human rights situation.

There has been an increase in executions in Iran with courts issuing death sentences after trials that do not meet basic standards of due process. The arrest and detention of individuals for the peaceful exercise of fundamental rights, including the right to expression, association or belief, continue.

Authorities subject members of religious and ethnic minorities to ongoing persecution. ”As of 14 January 2014,” wrote Mr. Shaheed, “at least 895 ‘prisoners of conscience’ and ‘political prisoners’ were reportedly imprisoned. This number includes 379 political activists, 292 religious practitioners, 92 human rights defenders (including 50 ethnic rights activists), 71 civic activists, 37 journalists and netizens, and 24 student activists.”


As U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer said in Geneva, support for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate sends a strong signal of international unity to the Iranian government on the need for Iran to address a continuing pattern of human rights abuses.

”We hope,” she said, “it will also encourage the Iranian government to cooperate with the international community to uphold the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.”

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