Article18 welcomes extension of UN human rights rapporteur’s mandate

Article18 welcomes extension of UN human rights rapporteur’s mandate

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman (UN Web TV)

Article18 welcomes the extension of the mandate of the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran by another year.

Last week, Article18 joined 38 rights groups in sending a letter to all Permanent Missions to the UN to call for a renewal of Mr Javaid Rehman’s mandate. 

The letter highlighted the “discrimination in law and practice” facing Iran’s religious minorities and “extensive” and “systematic” disregard that Iran continues to show for its citizens’ right to freedom of religion or belief.

Mr Rehman’s mandate was renewed at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, after 22 member states voted in favour, compared to eight against and 15 abstentions.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the decision was “politically motivated” and failed to recognise the steps Iran had taken to “develop and promote human rights at the national, regional and international levels … and commitments made to adhering to them”.

Mr Rehman has not held back from calling to light the severe violations of Iranians’ rights, including their right to freedom of religion or belief, despite repeatedly being denied access to the country and facing severe criticism from Iranian officials.

In a report last year, Mr Rehman focused especially on the challenges facing unrecognised religious minorities in Iran, including Christian converts.

Responding to the report at Iran’s Universal Periodic Review last year, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mohammad-Javad Larijani, said Mr Rehman had created a list of “more than 1,000 accusations” against Iran by using “scissor and paste from the media”, and that it would “not be feasible” for him to “see whether this list of 1,000 accusations is correct or not” during a three-day visit.

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