Rights Group Calls UN Review of Iran ‘Insufficent’; Urges Emergency Session, Inquiry, and Permanent Monitor

GENEVA, February 15, 2010 –  Following Iran’s review today by the UN Human Rights Council (click here for summary and full transcript), Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch commended the U.S., France and other democracies for their “forceful criticism” of Iran’s abuses, but expressed alarm over a report by Le Monde that Asian countries might facilitate Iran’s election this May to the 47-member body, “an eventuality underscored by the litany of speeches today — by China, Cuba, Libya and others — falsely praising Iran.”

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer welcomed the statements made today on behalf of Iranian rights victims, but cautioned that the outcome of today’s UN procedure is limited to a “toothless” report to be adopted on Wednesday.

“There are recognized and significant ways for the UN Human Rights Council to place a country on its watchlist of abusers, but this week’s procedure, which all states undergo automatically every four years, is not one of them,” said Neuer.

“If the Human Rights Council is serious about tackling Iran’s wide-scale and escalating attacks on its own citizens — and this an open question — then it must use its available tools to convene an emergency session; adopt a resolution condemning the violations and establishing an international inquiry into Iran’s post-election arrests, rapes, show-trials and exections; and reinstate the permanent post of a Special Rapporteur to monitor and report on the Iranian government’s compliance with international human right covenants.”

The Council’s predecessor, the discredited UN Commisison on Human Rights, abolished the post of a Special Rapporteur in 2002.

“The world has witnessed a series of bloody massacres since June, and yet the Council continues to turn a blind eye to the plight of Iran’s innocent victims.”

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