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Human Rights Organizations Support UN Special Rapporteur For Iran

Javaid Rehman is a British-Pakistani legal scholar and Professor of Islamic Law and International Law at Brunel University and the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. File photo

In a letter published on March 15, more than 40 human rights organizations have supported the renewal of the mandate for the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Situation in Iran.

In the letter, a copy of which was published by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), 42 organizations have called the members of the UN Human Rights Council (UHRC) to extend Javaid Rehman's assignment.

Rehman, a Pakistani-born British legal scholar and professor of Islamic law, was appointed to the position in July 2018 after former SR Asma Jahangir passed away in February 2018.

In his latest report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on February 27, Rehman raised his concern over human rights violations in Iran, paying particular attention to the way the death penalty is carried out.

Directly addressing the high authorities in Iran, Rehman has asked them to provide the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur with a list of all child offenders on death row.
The recent crackdown on labor rights in Iran was also given special attention in Rehman’s report.

Workers’ strikes at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane mill in the city of Shush, the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, as well as widespread protests by teachers and truckers were noted.

For years, Iran has not allowed the UN SRs to visit, condemning their reports as unfair and politically motivated.

Meanwhile, in a report on the situation of human rights in Iran, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently disclosed that Iran invited the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Tehran.

The coalition of diverse human rights organizations has insisted in their letter that the renewal of Rehman's mandate is warranted by the persistence of acute, chronic, and systematic violations of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in Iran, which have only become more alarming over the past year.

"The authorities have intensified their efforts to choke off the space for civil society work. Dissenting voices, including journalists, online media workers, and human rights defenders, including human rights lawyers, labor rights activists, and women’s rights defenders, have been subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention, simply for speaking out," the letter has asserted.

Referring to widespread scandalous corruption, the signatories to the letter have noted, "Discontent with corruption and mismanagement of resources and demands for civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights have led to protests across the country over the last year. These protests and strikes have often been met by arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly."

Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, Amnesty International, Center for Human Rights in Iran, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM), Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch are among the signatories to the letter.