Archive for the 'Iran' Category

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

13 March 2014
Human Rights Council
Twenty-fifth session
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Summary

In the present report, the third to be submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 16/9, the Special Rapporteur communicates developments in the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since his third interim report submitted to the General Assembly (A/68/503) in October 2013.

In the report, the Special Rapporteur outlines his activities since the Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur at its twenty-second session. He examines ongoing issues and presents some of the most recent and pressing developments in the State’s human rights situation. Although the report is not exhaustive, it provides a picture of the prevailing situation as observed in the preponderance of reports submitted to and examined by the Special Rapporteur. It is envisaged that a number of important issues not covered in the present report will be addressed by the Special Rapporteur in his future reports to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. Continue reading ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran’

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 2014

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

11 March 2014 

The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/184, in which the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit an interim report to the twenty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council. The report reflects the patterns and trends in the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and provides information on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution, including recommendations to improve its implementation. In its resolution 68/184, the General Assembly called upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to address the substantive concerns highlighted in the previous report of the Secretary-General and to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice, in relation to a number of specifically identified concerns. Continue reading ‘Report of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 2014′

Potkin Azarmehr at the 2014 Geneva Summit for Human Rights

Potkin Azarmehr pic

Iranian journalist and activist, Potkin Azarmehr, spoke on Iran’s state-controlled media at the 6th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Full speech below at 02:13:19 minute mark:

Extracts:

  • “The reason that state TV is such a high priority for authoritarian states is because they want to control information.”
  • “We have to stand up against the lies of authoritarian states around the world.  They may have the budget for propaganda, but we have the truth on our side.”

Naghmeh Abedini at the 2014 Geneva Summit for Human Rights

Nagmeh Abedini pic

Nagmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned Iranian pastor, Saeed Abedini, spoke against the oppression of religious freedom in Iran at the  6th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

The full speech is available on video here (at 02:54:13 minute mark):

Extracts:

China & Cuba elected to oversee UN democracy-building

hypocrisy-meter-2

Dictatorships China and Cuba just took their new seats on the Executive Board of UNDP, whose stated priority is “Building democratic societies.” The tyrannies will help oversee UN democracy promotion through 2016.

Iran’s murderous and misogynistic  regime is already a member, and will continue helping UNDP to “Empower women” through 2015.

Below: Watch Chinese dissident Yang Jianli and Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Paya oppose their countries’ election to the UN Human Rights Council.

Human Rights Panel at Vienna Diplomatic Academy

UN Watch in partnership with UN Women (National Committee, Austria), the Vienna NGO Committee on the Status of Women and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna recently held a human rights conference featuring dissidents from Cuba, Iran, and Mauritania. The event, which took place on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was covered by the Austrian Press Agency , upon which is based the  following article. (Original German here.)

UN Watch human rights conference at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

UN Watch’s Vienna Diplomatic Academy human rights conference featuring dissidents Abidine Merzough of Mauritania (far left), Marina Nemat of Iran (second from right), and Rosa Maria Paya of Cuba (far right). Moderated by Marta Halpert (second from left).

Marina Nemat: “Tehran’s leadership is a sheep in wolf’s clothing” 

Three dissidents and women’s rights activists from Iran, Mauritania and Cuba paint dreary picture of home

VIENNA, November 26, 2013 - Iranian human rights activist and author Marina Nemat has little confidence in the new president Hassan Rouhani, who she fears the West considers to be moderate and conciliatory, especially after the recent agreement in the nuclear dispute.

“The Iranian leadership is trying to show a moderate face,” Nemat said Monday night at a human rights panel organized by Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.  The panel, “Three dissidents, three states,” took place during the UN’s annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The Tehran leadership wants the international community to lift sanctions to ease suffering of the Iranian people, Nemat said, but “a change must come from within.”


Continue reading ‘Human Rights Panel at Vienna Diplomatic Academy’

Texts of draft UNGA resolutions on Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar

Following are the full texts of the draft resolutions on human rights situations that are to be voted on later this month by the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee:
  1. A/C.3/68/L.42 – Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic
  2. A/C.3/68/L.55 - Situation of human rights in Myanmar
  3. A/C.3/68/L.56 – Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  4. A/C.3/68/L.57 – Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

UN hide carving of naked man ahead of Iran nuclear talks, “kowtowing to fundamentalist regime”

Photo: Alain Jourdan of the Tribune de Geneve

GENEVA, October 14 – The independent non-governmental monitoring group UN Watch today called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to order the removal of a curtain recently placed over an historic marble carving at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, and to “stop this dangerous kowtowing to Iran’s fundamentalist regime.” (See AFP story below.)

“This is a very dangerous and slippery slope,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based watchdog group. Today the UN is covering up the artistic heritage of its most famous building, Geneva’s historic Palais des Nations, to appease the intolerance of a fundamentalist regime that subjugates women, executes gays, and persecutes Bahais; what will the UN hide tomorrow?”,

“Will the UN, in deference to Iran’s nuclear negotiators, cover up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose principles of religious freedom, political liberty, and equality also offend the Iranian regime?”

“Will the UN, in deference to Iran’s sensibilities, cover up the name of the adjacent Rene Cassin Square, dedicated to the architect of the Universal Declaration who also championed Israel’s right to defend itself during the Six Day War of 1967?”


The marble relief, called “The Creation of Man”, was donated by Britain to the UN’s forerunner the League of Nations in 1938. (AFP) Continue reading ‘UN hide carving of naked man ahead of Iran nuclear talks, “kowtowing to fundamentalist regime”’

AP reporter asks UN on Iran based on UN Watch release

Daily Press Briefing of the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, August 2, 2013

Edith Lederer (chief correspondent for the Associated Press at the United Nations): I was wondering whether the Secretary-General has any response to this request by UN Watch… by this Geneva-based human rights group, who said that it sent a letter to the Secretary-General and to Navi Pillay condemning the incoming Iranian President’s statement, describing Israel as an old wound that should be removed and asking the Deputy Secretary-General to cancel plans to attend Hassan Rouhani’s Sunday inauguration.

UN Spokesperson: Well, on the last bit, the Deputy Secretary-General never intended to attend the inauguration. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, will be attending, on the Secretary-General’s instructions, the inauguration; and so that’s the first part. I will need to check whether a letter has been received. You’re telling me about it now and you almost seem to be out of breath so it must be hot off the presses, so I don’t have anything to say at the moment.

[The Spokesperson later added that, according to the established practice regarding formation of new Governments, the Secretary-General will be also sending a congratulatory letter to President Rouhani following his swearing-in on 4 August. The letter is expected to reiterate the Secretary-General’s willingness to work with the new Iranian President and his Government on issues of importance to Iran and the international community, and urge Iran to play a constructive role in regional and international affairs. The Secretary-General looks forward to meeting with President Rouhani should he decide to participate in the forthcoming general debate.]

Iran’s Rouhani must be condemned by UN for today’s “ugly incitement”

GENEVA, August 2 — A Geneva-based human rights group urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the world body’s human rights commissioner Navi Pillay to immediately condemn the Iranian regime’s incitement to religious hatred in describing Israel today as “a sore” that “has been sitting on the body of the Islamic world for many years.” (Source: updated NYT translation.)

Hassan Rouhani’s comments came amid a massive festival of hate organized by the Tehran regime today.

Outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned, “with God as my witness,” that a regional storm was brewing that would “uproot” Israel. Ahmadinejad said Israel “has no place in this region,” provoking chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” from the crowd.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization, also called on top UN official Jan Eliasson and former EU foreign minister Javier Solana to cancel their reported plans to attend Rouhani’s Sunday inauguration.

“It is urgent for leaders of the United Nations and especially its human rights officials to make it crystal clear to Iran’s regime that threatening a UN member state’s existence — and inciting masses to base hatred against another people — is not only offensive and inflammatory, it’s a gross breach of the UN’s charter and core human rights conventions,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“We urge Mr. Ban to remind Rouhani, just as he told his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year, that the UN charter obliges all member states to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Taken together, the statements of both leaders today amount to an illegal threat under international law against Israel’s right to exist.”

“Given Rouhani’s ugly incitement today, it is vital that no UN or EU official dare risk granting legitimacy to such expressions of hatred and aggression by now participating in his inauguration.”

“We also call upon the democracies of Brazil, India and South Africa, which are leading members of the 120-strong Non-Aligned Movement, to condemn Iran and demand that it be removed from its position as chair of the influential UN voting bloc.”

Iran: U.S. holding “hostage” UN disarmament conf by boycotting Iran’s presidency

Regime: Iran is a “victim of weapons of mass destruction”

Last week, UN Watch revealed that Iran is to head the UN Conference on Disarmament and called on nations to protest. The USA and Canada announced they would bar their ambassadors from attending. Now Iran is on the defensive. Below is a BBC summary of an Iranian news report.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Araqchi has said that the United States is preventing the advancement of peace and security, accusing the USA of holding “hostage” a UN conference on disarmament with its threats of a boycott, Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported on 16 May.

“With its behaviour, America has in effect taken hostage the conference and is preventing it from working towards the advancement of international peace and security,” ISNA quoted Araqchi as commenting on US threats to boycott a UN disarmament conference because Iran would be chairing it.

“America’s behaviour goes against the democratic vote of member countries and the mechanism of international institutions for electing the chair [of a conference], and in other words it goes against the will of global society,” Araqchi added.

Seyyed Abbas Araqchi went on to emphasize that Iran was suited for the chairmanship of the conference, saying that Iran understands the importance of disarmament as it is a “victim of weapons of mass destruction”. Continue reading ‘Iran: U.S. holding “hostage” UN disarmament conf by boycotting Iran’s presidency’

US & Canada to boycott UN disarmament talks during Iran presidency; France, Germany, UK should follow

GENEVA, May 14, 2013 – UN Watch commends the U.S. and Canada for strongly protesting Iran’s looming presidency of the UN disarmament conference and  announcing (see below) that their ambassadors will  boycott the session during Tehran’s five weeks at the helm.

The decisions by Washington and Ottawa came in response to UN Watch’s call for action yesterday.

UN Watch once again calls on the EU, and particularly, Britain, France, and Germany, to protest as well.

Continue reading ‘US & Canada to boycott UN disarmament talks during Iran presidency; France, Germany, UK should follow’

Iran to chair U.N. disarmament conference

Exclusive Report by UN Watch

GENEVA, May 13, 2013 – Iran will chair the United Nations’ most important disarmament negotiating forum during the panel’s May session, which opened today, sparking calls by an independent monitoring group for the U.S., the EU, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon to protest. Click here for UN website.

“This is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva based non-governmental organization, which announced it will hold protest events outside the UN hall featuring Iranian dissidents.

“Iran is an international outlaw state that illegally supplies rockets to Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, aiding and abetting mass murder and terrorism. To make this rogue regime head of world arms control is simply an outrage. Abusers of international norms should not be the public face of the UN.” Continue reading ‘Iran to chair U.N. disarmament conference’

UN hijacked by Cuba’s “Right to peace” farce

This week the UN was diverted from real human rights problems for a week-long political exercise on the so-called “right to peace.”

Last July, Cuba presented a draft resolution on “The Right to Peace,” which recognized a “right to resist and oppose oppressive colonial foreign occupation or dictatorial domination.” We commented on it in this plenary speech:

According to experts, this could be seen as an avenue to legitimize terrorism. Countries such as Syria, Sudan, Belarus, China, Sri Lanka, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, supported the resolution, while countries such as the United States and the European Union did not. As the EU stated, they do not support the formation of the working group for many reasons including, but not limited to the fact that, “it is evident that there is no legal basis for the ‘right to peace’ in international law, either as an individual or collective right.”

Continue reading ‘UN hijacked by Cuba’s “Right to peace” farce’

UN Seminar on “International Cooperation”

On Friday, February 15, 2013, the OHCHR held a seminar on “International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.” The seminar was called for by a HRC resolution tabled by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It was yet another opportunity for oppresive regimes to attack Western democracies and the universal nature of human rights.

Iran, speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, reinforced the idea that cultural diversity was essential for human rights. “Countries should be allowed to protect human rights while taking into account their own national conditions.” Furthermore, it argued “It is not practical or feasible for all countries to adopt the same model.”

During the Q&A period, Iran raised the issue of sanctions as an impediment to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, hinting that the rights of Iranians were violated as a result of international sanctions. The Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran due to their non-cooperation with UN mechanisms which monitor their nuclear program.

Cuba stated that it was a shining example of the progress that can be made in the field of human rights with meager resources. The Cuban diplomat explained that measures to strengthen cooperation in the international arena have failed, due to the “politicization and manipulation of human rights mechanisms.” He said that they had hoped that the Human Rights Council would be a “new dawn,” but that it has followed the same failed destiny of the Commission on Human Rights. The Cuban diplomat concluded by expressing his dismay that things have not changed since the days of the Human Rights Commission.

U.N. slams Iran human rights violations in Canadian-led resolution

Today’s resolution on “the Situation of Human Rights in Iran” passed the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee by a vote of 83 to 31, with 68 abstaining.

This is the 10th year that Canada led this now-annual resolution, along with 42 other state co-sponsors. The resolution will proceed to the UN General Assembly Plenary for consideration, where it typically receives a similar voting result.

Here is the full text: UNGA Iran res Nov 2012; at bottom are selected quotes.

Canada’s leading position today in fighting Iranian abuses is partly due to the work in that country of Iranian-born human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam, whose compelling 2009 U.N. testimony follows below.

A/C.3/67/L.51

Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran Continue reading ‘U.N. slams Iran human rights violations in Canadian-led resolution’

UN rights council criticized for featuring allegedly corrupt official on today’s Nelson Mandela Day panel

Australian WIPO chief Francis Gurry is accused of vote-buying,
embargoed tech transfers to Iran and North Korea, and obstructing U.S. congressional inquiry

GENEVA, Sept. 21 – The participation of the UN’s top intellectual property official on today’s Human Rights Council panel for Nelson Mandela International Day is being criticized by UN Watch in light of revelations that his agency shipped embargoed technology to North Korea and Iran, and accusations of misconduct including vote-buying, as reported by Reuters.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental watchdog organization, called on the U.S., the EU and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to explain why Francis Gurry, the Australian head of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is speaking this afternoon on a panel dedicated to human rights and Nelson Mandela’s values.

Panelists are to provide examples of “how the promotion and protection of human rights has been advanced by the values of reconciliation, peace, freedom and racial equality in their societies or personal experiences.”

Yet Neuer said the credibility of the council — which annually passes resolutions condemning abuses by Iran and North Korea — is now harmed by inviting the WIPO chief.

bipartisan letter from the U.S. Congress, signed by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Howard Berman, accuses Gurry of obstructing potentially damning testimony by WIPO staffers regarding the agency’s quiet transfer of U.N.-embargoed technology to North Korea and Iran, which could advance those regimes’ nuclear and missile programs.

Gurry is accused of breaching his pledge to cooperate with a Congressional inquiry into whether the agency’s actions had violated U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Moreover, as reported by Reuters, Gurry is also accused of pledging the equipment to the two sanctioned countries in exchange for their votes, according to a U.N. lawsuit filed by a former WIPO manager.

The suit also alleges Gurry earmarked posts for member states who backed him in his 2008 election and those whose votes he is trying to secure as part of his 2014 re-election bid.

Two investigators who conducted an internal WIPO inquiry into the shipments said: “We simply cannot fathom how WIPO could have convinced itself that most Member States would support the delivery of equipment to countries whose behavior was so egregious it forced the international community to impose embargoes, and where the deliveries, if initiated by the recipient countries, would violate a Member State’s national Laws.”

U.N. chief sending ‘wrong signal’ going to Tehran’s NAM summit


Iran will now speak for 120-strong NAM during U.N. debates

Rights group urges Ban Ki-moon to bring with him UN resolutions on Iranian human rights violations

GENEVA, Aug. 22 – Human rights activists are slamming U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon for announcing his attendance at next week’s Tehran summit of the 120-member Non Aligned Movement “on the same day that the Security Council heard a top-level U.N. report on Iranian complicity in the Syrian regime’s murder of its own people, in violation of resolution 1747 passed under the organization’s highest Chapter 7 authority.”

“By going to Tehran’s propaganda summit, the U.N. Secretary-General is abdicating his moral voice at a crucial time, and sending absolutely the wrong signal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an independent human rights organization which has brought Ahmad Batebi, Mohammed Mostafeh, Nazanin Afshin-Jam and other top Iranian dissidents to testify before the UN. Continue reading ‘U.N. chief sending ‘wrong signal’ going to Tehran’s NAM summit’

UN Watch: Iran elected to UN Arms Trade Treaty post

Human rights group urge Ban Ki-moon to condemn “scandalous” election

GENEVA, July 8 - Iran was elected to a top post on the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference, revealed UN Watch today in an exclusive report. The Geneva-based human rights group is calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day, to condemn the selection of the Tehran regime.

Although the U.N. conference website and summary fail to name the 15 members elected to the bureau on July 3rd, UN Watch has discovered that the countries elected to the five regional groups include Iran, Japan, and South Korea for the Asian group; Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria for Africa; Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine for Eastern Europe; Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland for the Western Europe & Others Group; and Mexico and two others for Latin America. (See U.N. webcast here, announcing election of Iran at minute 4:45.)

The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which opened last week and runs until July 27, promises to deliver a new agreement to regulate the transfer of arms.

“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post regulating the transfer of guns and bombs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.

“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.” Continue reading ‘UN Watch: Iran elected to UN Arms Trade Treaty post’

Iran, Racism and the Non-Aligned Movement

UN Watch testimony delivered by Hillel Neuer before
the U.N. Human Rights Council, July 3, 2012

Thank you, Madam President.

UN Watch was founded by Morris Abram, the legendary civil rights advocate who marched arm-in-arm with Rev. Martin Luther King to fight racism in America. His struggle against prejudice in all its forms continues to guide our work.

As I look around this room, I see many representatives from the Non-Aligned Movement whose peoples were victimized by racism under colonial rule.

The ghastly atrocities perpetrated against millions of Congolese by Belgian King Leopold II is but one of many examples from that sordid history. NAM members know the consequences of racism and discrimination. Continue reading ‘Iran, Racism and the Non-Aligned Movement’

Is Syrian ambassador to UN rights council planning to defect?

Tomorrow will see Foreign Ministers descend on Geneva for the opening of the first 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council.

At a recent UN press conference, U.S. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe offered a good review of what’s ahead. Click here for the transcript, and here for the audio. Reuters asked about UN Watch’s protest over Libya’s vehement attack against gays (minute 16:00).

Of note:

  • The Syrian envoy to the UN rights council,  Faysal Hamoui, hasn’t been seen in a while, and, alluding to the Libyans’ defection last year, Ambassador Donahoe hinted that he may be planning the same:

Continue reading ‘Is Syrian ambassador to UN rights council planning to defect?’

Iran Censorship Extends to Golden Globes Stage

The contrast couldn’t have been any clearer at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony Sunday when it came to presenting the prize for Best Foreign Language Film.

Host Ricky Gervais’s irreverence for authority, and Madonna’s unrestrained immodesty were – for better or for worse – testaments to the universal right to express oneself freely.

Then came the solemnity of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s acceptance speech after Madonna announced that his film “A Separation,” which he made in Iran and is still showing there, had won the category. Continue reading ‘Iran Censorship Extends to Golden Globes Stage’

UN Watch Congratulates Human Rights Activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam

UN Watch sends congratulations and warm wishes to  Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a devoted activist and cherished colleague in the cause of universal human rights, and to Peter MacKay, Canada’s Minister of Defence, on their recent marriage.

Iranian-born Afshin-Jam has earned international recognition for her tireless advocacy on behalf of human rights victims in the Islamic Republic of Iran, deepening her activism after she rose to prominence in Canada and beyond as a beauty queen, singer, model and actress.

UN Watch gave Afshin-Jam its Human Rights Hero Award in 2009 in recognition of her activism, including as president and co-founder of Stop Child Executions, which fights for minors facing execution in Iran.

Appearing together with dissident and former political prisoner Ahmad Batebi,  Afshin-Jam represented UN Watch in a dramatic speech before the UN Human Rights Council in 2009, reproduced below.

Continue reading ‘UN Watch Congratulates Human Rights Activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam’

Iran, Syria, N. Korea Condemned, But Not By All

Roll calls detailed below reveal which countries voted with Iran, Syria and North Korea as the UN General Assembly passed resolutions Dec. 19 denouncing the human rights records of those three regimes. As in past years, Afghanistan, where NATO-led forces continue to battle on behalf of the country, split with the alliance’s members for the vote on Iran, and voted with the Islamic republic.

1. Situation of Human Rights in Iran: 89 in favour, 30 against, 64 abstentions.

Against:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe. Continue reading ‘Iran, Syria, N. Korea Condemned, But Not By All’

Rights of Women in China, Saudi Arabia and Iran

UN Watch Testimony to UN Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 3, delivered by Alexia Bedat, 15 September 2011

Thank you, Madam President.

Under Articles 2, 5 and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women are guaranteed equal treatment under the law and protection from degrading treatment. Today we ask: Is this promise being translated into practice?

To find the answer, we must see reality from the perspective of real women on the ground. Let us consider three concrete examples:

1. China. According to a panel of experts including US Congressman Chris Smith, as a result of the “One child policy,” every 2.4 seconds a woman in China undergoes a forced abortion.  Xiao Ai Ying is one of these women. Last year, eight months into her pregnancy, twelve government officials broke into her home, brutally kicked her in the stomach and dragged her screaming to the hospital.  Madam President, isn’t China a member of this Council, and therefore pledged to the highest standards of human rights? Continue reading ‘Rights of Women in China, Saudi Arabia and Iran’

AUDIO: Hillel Neuer on Toronto Radio urges UN to retract praise of Tehran terror conf

After UN chief Ban Ki-moon sent warm greetings to Iran’s “Anti-Terrorism” Conference, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer urges him to retract. Interviewed on the Arlene Bynon Show, Toronto Talk Radio AM 640, June 28, 2011. “This is like Bernie Madoff leading an initiative to combat fraud,” said Neuer.

UN confirms: Ban Ki-moon did send message to Iran’s “Anti-Terror” Conf

From today’s daily UN press conference: full transcript here, video here.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  I have a report, message this morning from the organization UN Watch in Geneva about an international conference on global fight against terrorism in Tehran, which has a purported message from the Secretary-General — I am not vouching for the English on this — this is a reproduction from the conference’s website; it says:  “In a written message to international conference on fight against terrorism in Tehran, UN Secretary emphasized right against terrorism is a great responsibility for all nations and Governments.” My question to you is…

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  You mean “fight”, not “right” against terrorism.

Question:  Pardon?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  Fight against terrorism; not right against terrorism.

Question:  It said “fight”, I am reading… As I said, I am not vouching for the English.  Did the Secretary-General make such a statement?  In fact, did he say — I am sure he has said something like that any number of times, did he make this, send this particular statement directly on the occasion of this conference?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  Yes.  In fact there is a message that was delivered on his behalf.  Obviously, the Secretary-General did not deliver it first-hand; but a message has been delivered on his behalf.  We are getting the text, and we’ll put that out in fact this afternoon.  As you know, the Secretary-General believes that all nations, all peoples are affected by terrorism; and that it is imperative that we involved as many States, as many peoples as possible in the fight against terrorism.  

UN Defends Endorsement of Iran’s “Anti-Terror” Conf

GENEVA — After a UN spokesperson defended the world body’s endorsement of Iran’s “anti-terrorism” conference—which accused the US, Britain, and Israel of perpetrating terrorism, and asserted a cover-up concerning 9/11 and the Holocaust—UN Watch today called on US and British representatives to intervene.

As reported today by The Jerusalem Post, a UN spokesperson defended Ban Ki-moon’s message to the conference, presented in person by a UN counter-terrorism official, saying, “the UN believes that it is important for all nations to work together in the fight against terrorism.”

UN Watch expressed “deep disappointment” with this reponse, and sent letters today to US Ambassador Susan Rice and British Ambassador Mark Justin Lyall Grant (see below), asking them to demand a UN retraction.

If the Chinese Communist Party will now organize an international conference for internet freedom, and if Syria’s President Assad will hold one for the right to peaceful protest, will the UN also endorse those, on grounds that it is important for all nations to work together in promoting human rights?” asked Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization.

“With Iran now trumpeting headlines such as ‘UN Chief Praises Tehran’s Anti-Terror Initiative,’ the UN must immediately distance itself from this insult to victims of Iranian terrorism worldwide. Mr. Ban should also condemn Iran’s president – as he has rightly done before — for insulting the memory of the victims of 9/11 and of the Holocaust.”

Click for letters

NGO Urges UN Chief to Retract Blessing for Cynical Iranian Conference on Terrorism

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh: “We are happy that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is sending his representatives to read out his message to Tehran conference.”

GENEVA — A watchdog organization is calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to retract his apparent endorsement of an Iranian government conference on terrorism that seeks to deny Iranian complicity, while instead blaming the US, Britain and Israel. The following letter was sent today to the UN chief by Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch.

# # # # #

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017

25 June 2011

Your Excellency,

Earlier this week, UN Watch warmly welcomed your deserved reelection as UN Secretary-General and applauded your principled leadership. It is in that spirit that we call upon you to distance yourself and the United Nations from a cynical conference now underway in Iran which claims to have your blessing and that of the United Nations.

Organized by the Iranian government, the conference is entitled “International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism.” It began today and ends tomorrow. The opening message by Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei attacked “the United States, Britain and some Western governments, with a black record in terrorist behaviors,” “satanic world powers,” and “terrorist organizations such as the Zionism International Agency.” (http://www.icterrorism.com/en/?news=163)

The Iranian Supreme Leader further says on the conference website that “the creation and growth of the wild and blind terrorism is basically the result of the wicked policy of America and England,” and that “it is a duty for all Muslims to confront and fight this inauspicious offspring which is the clear example of corruption on earth and fighting with God.” (http://www.icterrorism.com/en/?page=200) Continue reading ‘NGO Urges UN Chief to Retract Blessing for Cynical Iranian Conference on Terrorism’

Selected Resolutions from UNHRC 16th Session

Strengthening of technical cooperation and consultative services in the Republic of Guinea

Situation of Human Rights in Cote d’Ivoire

  • Resolution (does not include oral revisions)
  • Adopted by consensus as orally revised

Cooperation between Tunisia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

  • Resolution (does not include oral revisions)
  • Adopted by consensus as orally revised

Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Promoting Human Rights through Traditional Values

Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief (Based on the former “Defamation of religions” resolution)

Outcome of HRC Review

  • Resolution
  • Adopted by consensus, USA disassociated itself

Human Rights in Myanmar (Burma)

  • Resolution
  • Adopted by consensus, China and Cuba disassociated themselves

Human Rights in the DRC

Human Rights in the Golan

Follow up to the Flotilla Report

Grave Violations in the OPT and East Jerusalem

Goldstone Follow up

Palestinian Right to Self Determination

Israeli Settlements