Thursday, March 24, 2011

UN Sending Human Rights Rapporteur To Iran; No Word If Goldstone Available

The last time the UN sent a human rights rapporteur was in 2002, so maybe this is a bit overdue: UN approves proposal to send human rights investigator to Iran
The UN Human Rights Council agreed on Thursday to a U.S.-backed proposal to establish a UN human rights investigator for Iran, the first in a decade.

The 47-member Geneva forum approved the resolution by 22 votes in favor, 7 against and 14 abstentions, its president, Thai Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, announced.
The article doesn't actually say a rapporteur was sent back then--just that there was an agreement to establish one.

Back in 2002, Iran was not keen on having a rapporteur look into human rights in Iran:

Iran Issues Standing Invitation For U.N. Monitoring Inspectors

At the end of July, Iran made an announcement that it had issued standing invitations to United Nations human rights monitoring mechanisms. These invitations allow U.N. officials monitoring issues such as arbitrary detention, disappearances, or the right to development to freely conduct their fact-finding investigations and report back to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

HRW had been lobbying to grant the Special Rapporteur on Iran access to the country. He was blocked from visiting the country for several years, and the renewal of his mandate was voted down at this year’s Commission on Human Rights. To date, 39 countries have issued standing invitations, mostly from Europe but also including several Latin American countries and Australia. HRW has been actively promoting standing invitations as a condition of membership on the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
In 1996, Iran explicitly banned the rapporteur from entering.

It's not clear whether in 2002 a rapporteur was ever sent--or who on the commission voted against renewing the mandate.

The reason for sending someone to Iran is clear however. For example, Iran has a habit of executing a lot of Iranians:
In 2009, Iran executed 388 people, according to international human rights groups, second only to China in the number of people it put to death.

Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and applied only after exhaustive judicial procee
But one good thing may come of this: Iran has seen the light!
Such resolutions targetting specific countries show that the UN human rights mechanism has been abused, the Iranian envoy, Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, said.

It is an "unfair and unjustified action" and disservice, and "such a move is doomed to fail and should be categorically rejected," the envoy added.
No doubt Iran will stand by Israel the next time the UN Human Rights Council singles out Israel.

Or maybe not.

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