24 October 2012
Response by the Islamic Republic of Iran
on the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights
in the Islamic Republic of Iran
before the Third Committee of the 67 Session of the GA
New York, 24 October 2012
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,
Five years ago, my country echoed those who believed that the Commission on Human Rights, despite its rich legacy, ultimately undermined its success by the politicization and selectivity imposed upon it by a certain group of countries. When the CHR was replaced by the Human Rights Council, a strong voice from the United Nations Member States called for that the politicization, selectivity and double standards not be allowed to influence the work of the newly established body.
The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the Special Procedures as an important mechanism in monitoring human rights, provided it is purely professional and free from politicization. Since the Human Rights Council and other affiliated institutions of the United nations are the main parties entrusted, by the international community, for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world, it is seriously expected that the Council, as the main pillar in the field, do not allow any of the existing mechanisms to be abused as instruments for discouragement and not as means for encouragement and promotion of human rights in the world.
Respecting the mandate holder, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran took from a defective process based on intervention and political sabotage in the mechanism of human rights. Therefore, we consider appointment of the country mandate holder as a result of a one- sided approach and the political ambition of certain countries, particularly the United States and its European allies. This approach undermines the Special Procedure mechanism and status of the Human Rights Council, as an institution which should function in conformity with international regulations and safeguard dignity of human rights.
In his responsibility of Rapporteurship, any mandate holder is required and obliged to observe the principles of impartiality, honesty, transparency and fairness, avoiding impacts of political pressures.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has already submitted its general comments and observations, in Fifty Seven pages on the draft report of the Special Rapporteur (on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran), in July and August 2012, with the hope that the writer of the report takes them into consideration and includes the provided viewpoints and replies in his final report to counter its imbalances and deficiencies. Regrettably, he has refrained introducing the proposed amendments into the report. Therefore, my country wishes to present the following comments and observations which considered to be legal and substantial importance to the Member States of the United Nations:
1- Compilation of any report by a Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council is subject to specific requirements as contained in HRC Resolution 5/2 on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures including standards of ethical behavior and professional conduct. Article 8 of the code of conduct states that the mandate holders shall give representatives of the concerned State the opportunity of commenting on the mandate holders’ assessment of responding to the allegations made against the State, and annex the State’s written summary responses to their reports. Article 13 of the same Code clearly says that the mandate holders while expressing their views, particularly in their public statements concerning allegations of human rights violations, should also indicate fairly what responses were given by the concerned State.
Regrettably none of the above mentioned requirements of the Code of Conduct was observed by the Special Rapporteur. The Special Rapporteur neither has considered comments and observations forwarded to him by my Government, nor even has annexed a copy or summary of these comments to his final report.
2- The report has not concentrated on the trend of human rights development in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also he has made references to the cases which were mostly out of date and to unfounded allegations. The report lacks the principles of independency, non- selectivity and impartiality in its approaches
3- In paragraph 16, relying on some websites, the reports asserts that the e- mail services such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and MSN are banned in the Islamic Republic of Iran! While the services are active; and it could be easily verified if someone simply checked it.
4- Observance of stipulations of the United Nations Charter and the Code of Conducts of the United Nations mandate holders, are among the most apparent expectations of any country from them. Bolding the issue relating to ethnic and religious minorities an exacerbation of differences between people in the report, have been indications of separatist intentions and sowing discord in the agenda of the report and the dominance of political desires and objectives foe damaging of the territorial integrity of an old and great country and civilization.
The Iranian society has been one of the successful and long standing examples of peaceful coexistence among ethnicities and religions. The protection and enhancement of this situation has been among the main national policies of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran National Development Plan in social, political, cultural an economic fields have been even handedly implemented through out the country, with the goal of achieving balanced development. The Iranian Constitution recognition of all the Iranian ethnic groups and their representation in all political, electoral and local – national decision making activities clearly indicates that the enjoyment of local media and participation in all political, electoral and local- national decision making clearly indicates that the allegations raised in the report unfounded. In our long history, all young generations from different from khuzestan to khorasan and from Sistan and Balouchestan to west and east Azerbaijan and Gilan have lived as an inseparable Nations under one flag for the territorial integrity of one country. Recent history of our country has never been the domain of one ethnic group over the others.
In Paragraph 13 of the report, entrance into the fields such as establishment of cyber council for securing domestic internet relates to security and sovereignty of Sates rather than an issue dealing with promotion and protection of human rights. As a country frequently targeted by highly sophisticated vicious cyber attacks, often orchestrated by certain States, Iran has every right and reason to strengthen its cyber space security. Contrary to the report assessments based on overly misleading information, this has nothing to do with the freedom of expression at all.
6- Selective approach towards daily developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran is also one of the other faults of the report. The report has raised in full details, the unfounded and baseless allegations, while easily passing by acts of terrorism and assassination of the Iranian scientists and did not even made the slightest reference to the victims and situations of their children and their bereaved families.
7- So many references to the Iranian news agencies, newspapers and reports of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Committee on Human Rights as source of report, confirms that our judgment is fair enough and that these references to domestic media endorses the high level of freedom of expression and right to information in my country which is in contradiction with the provisions of the Special Rapporteur report.
8- While the report claims that it has covered all issues in the country in preparation of this report, it fails to even notice the daily military threats by the US and Zionist regime against a Member States of the United Nations. How could one accept the legitimacy of the claims.
9-There is much more to regret that the Special Rapporteur has avoided any reference to human rights promotional policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its cooperation with the international human rights mechanisms.
10- Efforts of some TV stations and media as well as some study institutions and raising a lot of baseless allegations against my country, have turned the mandate to a political rather than a professional and independent mandate of the United Nations.
11- Regrettably, the report expresses concern over existence of laws and regulations which inter – alia prohibits insult against the Holy Prophet of Islam and religious sanctities of people; while Article 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has already imposed limitations on the freedom of expressions inter – alia by prohibiting racial and religious hatred. Therefore, one may conclude that the Rapporteur does not even hold a correct perception of the international human rights law.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,
To our great dismay, we came to realize that this report fails to reflect the actual situation of human rights in Iran, mainly because the Special Rapporteur has difficulty in distancing himself from the subject matter; rather assembled catalogue of news and views. There are open contradictions in dozens of his reports’ paragraphs.
The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes constructive cooperation with the United Nations mechanisms, on human rights which are comprehensive and include all member states of the United Nations and not particular group of States. In this regard, the Islamic Republic of Iran has invited the High commissioner for Human rights to visit the Country, and a preparatory visit by the OHCHR was carried out in December 2011 to facilitate the visit of the High Commissioner to Iran.
The Iranian officials in the meeting with the H.E. Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary General during the recent visit to Tehran, expressed their readiness to constructive engagement with the Secretary – General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Accordingly, cooperation with the special procedures mandate holders shall remain the principled position of the Islamic Republic of Iran.