Thursday, December 7, 2023

Lawmakers, NGO reps, human rights experts, Iranian dissidents condemn appointment of Iran’s envoy to UNHRC’s social forum

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During a press conference held in Geneva on November 2, lawmakers, NGOs, and Iranian Dissidents condemned the appointment of Iran’s regime envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Social Forum.

The speakers joined 180 human rights experts, jurists, judges, lawmakers, Nobel Laureates, and NGOs who had sent a letter earlier in the day to the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Volker Turk, denouncing this appointment.

Jean-Pierre Brard, a member of France’s National Assembly, Antonio Stango, President of the Federation of Human Rights in Italy, former UN Secretary General’s Representative on Human Rights in Iraq Tahar Boumedra, Safora Sadidi, whose father and six other members of her family were murdered by the Iranian regime, and Behzad Naziri, the NCRI’s representative in international organizations, attended and spoke at the conference.

In part of his remarks, Stango said the appointment of the Iran regime’s envoy to the UNHRC’s Social Forum manifests the weakness of the UN system, which allows oppressive regimes such as the one in Iran to chair its different bodies, making a mockery of UN principles.

Brard vociferously criticized what he termed as the Western countries’ appeasement of the Iranian regime. He likened awarding the chairmanship of a UNHCR body and providing $6 billion to the Iranian regime to the US Federal Reserve handing over billions to Al Capone’s family.  Note:  The money, intended for humanitarian relief only, has not actually been released to Iran at this point, and it remains frozen in a Qatari bank account, subject to US oversight, and now has become a political issue in Washington since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

“The regime rejects international law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law, and it says so openly. Despite repeated UN calls to improve the situation of human rights, the regime does the contrary and ignores the demands of the international community. It is unfortunate that today, Iran’s envoy presides over a forum of the HRC,” Boumedra said, adding, “This disgraceful decision is an insult to the Iranian people, whose human rights have been flagrantly violated by the regime over the past 44 years and makes a mockery of the principles upon which the UN is founded.”

Sadidi, speaking on behalf of the families of the victims of the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses, said, “We are appalled by this appointment because, notwithstanding its conduct in the past four decades, we can see right now, this very moment, that the Iranian regime is the main source of crisis in the Middle East. It is also shameful that the UN, which should uphold and promote the values of human rights, has consented to this appointment because it not only encourages the regime to continue its atrocities against the Iranian people but also enables the regime to continue its export of terrorism beyond Iran’s borders.

Naziri also spoke at the conference, noting that the decision to appoint a representative from a regime that has been censured through 69 resolutions for gross and systematic violations of human rights, which has executed more than 600 people in the first 10 months of 2023 and murdered 750 protesters during the 2022 uprising and 1,500 more during the 2019 uprising,” was inexplicable and shameful and undercuts the very values the United Nations is mandated to protect, promote, and uphold.” He said the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps must be placed on the EU terrorist list.

“Allowing a regime notorious for committing the 1988 massacre and daily executions and warmongering to take over a prestigious UN platform is a dagger to the heart of human rights, fuels terrorism, and endangers regional and global peace. It egregiously violates the very principles upon which the United Nations has been founded and for which millions of people have sacrificed their lives. This represents a dark stain in the history of the United Nations,” the letter by 180 human rights experts, jurists, judges and NGOs to the UN Human Rights High Commissioner said.

While noting that “Top Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, should be held accountable for the 1988 massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners, the vast majority members of the PMOI,” the letter added, “Appointing a representative of such a regime as the Chair of the Human Rights Council’s Social Forum will be seen by the clerical regime as a green light for more torture and killing and assure its suppressive forces that they will not be held accountable for their crimes.”

Iranian dissidents have also planned a rally at the Palais de Nations tomorrow to condemn this appointment and call for holding the regime’s leader to account for four decades of crime against humanity.

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