Iran 'shows contempt' for human rights by rejecting UN recommendations

Amnesty International has accused Iran of showing “contempt” for human rights, after it rejected important recommendations by the United Nations to improve human rights in the country.

The rejected recommendations include: ending the execution of juvenile offenders; upholding fair trial guarantees, investigating torture allegations including rape, and releasing people detained for peacefully exercising their human rights.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East Deputy Director at Amnesty International, said:

“By rejecting specific recommendations made by dozens of countries, the Iranian authorities showed contempt for international obligations just as they have done in their treatment of their own people.

“By promising to consider recommendations to eliminate the execution of juvenile offenders, the Iranian authorities are cynically camouflaging their existing obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child not to execute juvenile offenders.

”For human rights to really improve in Iran, the authorities must end the double-speak and take concrete measures, like ending the execution of juvenile offenders, ensuring fair trials, halting torture and ending impunity for all violations.”

The UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva has been reviewing Iran’s human rights record, where the Iran delegation responded to a series of recommendations put to them by other UN member states. The delegation accepted 123 recommendations, reserved its position on 20 other and rejected 45 recommendations.

The Iran delegation also paid only lip service to cooperation with the Human Rights Council.

While accepting a recommendation to cooperate with UN’s human rights experts, Iran rejected several others to allow the Council’s Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country.   The delegation accepted the recommendation to respect freedom of religion but rejected a recommendation to end discrimination against the Bahai minority.
Amnesty International said it is perplexed by the numerous contradictions between recommendations accepted and those rejected. The cavalier rejection of some recommendations, which were similar to others that were accepted, casts doubt on the willingness of the authorities to implement those recommendations that they did accept.

Iran has said it is carrying out investigations into cases of torture and killing that occurred following the unrest after the presidential election in June 2009. However, despite reports of parliamentary investigations, no one appears to have been brought to justice over the killing of Neda Agha Soltan, a peaceful demonstrator who was shot in the street in June 2009, or Mohsen Ruholamini who died in custody in July 2009.

On the other hand, Iran rejected recommendations on investigations of torture allegations and unlawful killings, thus perpetuating a climate of impunity.

The country’s authorities also said they would strengthen cooperation with human rights organisations, yet they have failed to respond to repeated requests by Amnesty International to meet with members of the Iranian delegation.  

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