Human Rights Community Prevails in Forcing Withdrawal of Iran’s Candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council
(24 April 2010) The withdrawal of Iran’s candidacy for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, which was vociferously opposed by Iranian civil society leaders and human rights community, is a victory for Iranian citizens whose human rights would very likely have suffered had Iran’s repressive and brutal policies been legitimized, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
The Iranian government’s decision to withdraw was announced to the Asian group of delegates in Geneva today. Iranian human rights defenders and activists had launched a major campaign opposing Iran’s candidacy.
“This is a very important achievement for Iranian human rights defenders who have suffered so much in the past year and who opposed Iran’s candidacy,” said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign.
“We believe that with Iran off the Council, the General Assembly Human Rights Council will be in a better position to assist Iran in meeting its obligations,” he added.
The Iranian government had filed its candidacy for membership in the Human Rights Council despite its record of well-documented, systematic and widespread human rights violations, particularly following the post-election crackdown during the past year.
The Campaign calls on the Human Rights Council to hold the Iranian government accountable for the serious human rights crisis underway inside the country and to initiate investigative mechanisms regarding the post-election events during its upcoming session in June 2010.
The Campaign believes that the Iranian government’s withdrawal reflects its realization that not only would it fail to garner enough votes in the General Assembly, but that the election would provide an opportunity for the international community to focus on the grave situation of human rights in the country.
“This withdrawal is a tacit admission of how bad the situation is. The Human Rights Council should not let Iran off the hook, but rather intensify its efforts to improve the situation there,” Ghaemi said.