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UN Rights Council Extends Mandate of Special Rapporteur On Iran

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution extending the mandate on Iran, the Islamic Republic’s official news agency IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, “Adopted along with five other resolutions in a meeting in Geneva on Friday, the resolution on Iran extended by a period of one year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.”

21 members of the Council voted in favor of the resolution, while 7 others voted against, with 19 abstentions.

Burundi, China, Cuba, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Venezuela voted against the resolution.

The resolution assigned the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate at the Council’s fortieth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session.

Introducing draft texts were Bulgaria on behalf of the European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sweden on behalf of a group of countries, and the United States.

The Council's thirty-seventh session, which opened on Feb. 26, was closed on March 23.

The Islamic Republic’s representative to the Council, Mohsen Naziri Asl described the resolution as “spiteful” and “politically motivated”.

Pakistani colleagues of lawyer and rights advocate Asma Jahangir mourn during her funeral in Lahore, February 13, 2018
Pakistani colleagues of lawyer and rights advocate Asma Jahangir mourn during her funeral in Lahore, February 13, 2018

The Council has not yet appointed a successor to Asma Jahangir as the UN Special Rapporteur. Jahangir, a prominent lawyer from Pakistan died on February 11, aged 66.

According to United Nations Human Rights, Office of High Commissioner’s website, Ms. Jahangir presented her first critical report to the Human Rights Council on 13 March 2017.

Asma Jahangir was the second Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the re-establishment of the mandate by the Human Rights Council.

She succeeded Maldivian diplomat, Ahmad Shahid.

In her second report published on March 5, 2018, Asma Jahangir criticized the Iranian government for its continued crackdown on freedom of expression and restrictions on access to information, while detainees appeared to be systematically subjected to abuse, including torture and rape.

"Despite assurances from the government, improvements are either not forthcoming or are being implemented very slowly and in piecemeal," she said in a later report.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied the UN Special Rapporteurs visas to travel to Iran.

Meanwhile, the UN’s Human Rights Council, on its last session on Friday, also extended the mandates on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, South Sudan and Myanmar.