New UN expert appeals for Iran’s cooperation in addressing human rights concerns

By United Nations
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The new United Nations expert dealing with human rights in Iran today appealed to Tehran to fully cooperate with him in addressing issues of concern raised by the international community.

“It is my hope that the Iranian authorities will view my mandate as a secure and legitimate space in which to take steps to comply with its international human rights obligations, as well as an opportunity to address the areas of concern communicated to Iran during its interactions with the international community on human rights issues,” said Ahmed Shaheed.

Mr. Shaheed, a former Foreign Minister of the Maldives, officially began his duties as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran on Monday. He reports in an independent and unpaid capacity to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.

He underscored his firm belief that the establishment of the new mandate “provides an opportunity for Iran to engage on a range of human rights issues that have been raised by the international community.”

Mr. Shaheed has sought meetings with the Iranian representatives to the UN Office in Geneva to discuss cooperation in the months ahead. His first report will be submitted to the sixty-sixth session of General Assembly, which begins next month.

He is seeking Iran's cooperation to ensure “fair and accurate” reporting on its human rights situation, and developing constructive engagement between Iran and the UN human rights machinery, according to a news release issued in Geneva. He will also work closely with Iranian civil society and human rights defenders.

“Every effort shall be made to demonstrate both the steps that the Iranian authorities can take to comply with Iran's international obligations, as well as to draw attention to the grievances of those who feel victimized by alleged human rights violations,” said Mr. Shaheed, who was appointed to his post by the Human Rights Council on 17 June.