UN Official Urged to Postpone Trip to Iran
Visiting Before Release of UN Fact-Finding Mission’s First Report on State Atrocities Detrimental to Mandate
Islamic Republic Has Refused to Cooperate with Fact-Finding Mission, Would Exploit Visit to Advance State Propaganda
January 27, 2024 – The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) strongly stands in solidarity with Iranian civil society groups, urging UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif, who represents the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to reconsider and postpone her trip to Iran, reportedly set for February 3.
Embarking on this trip before the release of the UN’s independent, international Fact-Finding Mission’s (FFM) initial report on atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran during the nationwide protests of 2022-23, which will be presented in a few weeks during the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), would compromise the mission’s mandate.
“The trip would be touted and used as a propaganda ploy to feign cooperation with the UN just before the Fact-Finding Mission releases its first report, even though the Iranian government has staunchly refused to cooperate with the FFM from the outset,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of CHRI.
“The Islamic Republic would cynically exploit this UN official’s visit to whitewash its abysmal human rights record,” he added.
UN Fact-Finding Mission to Issue First Report in March 2024
Established by the UN Human Rights Council through a vote in November 2022, the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) operates as an independent body of international human rights experts tasked with acquiring and documenting evidence of state atrocities committed since September 2022 in Iran, following the outbreak of major anti-state protests after the killing in state custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini.
The FFM, the first-ever of its kind concerning Iran, holds the potential to play a pivotal role in holding Iranian officials accountable. The mission is dedicated to exposing the extensive human rights violations committed by the government in Iran against peaceful protesters, encompassing lethal violence. Such actions could amount to crimes against humanity, as indicated by a top UN human rights expert.
Islamic Republic of Iran Has Refused to Cooperate with Fact-Finding Mission
Despite extensive testimonies regarding torture, rape, and arbitrary imprisonment at the hands of state security forces, the government in Iran consistently refuses to cooperate with the FFM.
Simultaneously, Islamic Republic of Iran officials have hindered independent human rights experts’ access to political prisoners, their families, and civil society members, while families of political prisoners face harassment and imprisonment for advocating justice peacefully.
Postponing the trip until after March 2024, when the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) has presented its inaugural report to the UN Human Rights Council and the future of the FFM’s mandate has been established, is crucial.
“A high-level UN official traveling to Iran at this time undermines the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s mandate,” said Ghaemi.
“The visit should occur only after the Fact-Finding Mission has issued its first report and following extensive engagement with Iranian civil society, which could compile a list of individuals for the deputy high commissioner to meet inside Iran,” he added.
“Anything less disregards the plight of the Islamic Republic’s countless victims of state violence,” Ghaemi said.
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