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B'nai B'rith Draws Attention to Iran at UNHRC

The following remarks were presented by B’nai B’rith International primary Geneva Representative Klaus Netter at the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of B'nai B'rith International and the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations. The remarks were delivered during a discussion of urgent human rights situations requiring the Human Rights Council’s attention.

United Nations Human Rights Council - 13th Session
Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Statement on behalf of the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations

Read by Klaus Netter, March 15, 2010

Mr. President:

Two years ago we stood before this Council and urged a re-examination of the decision to eliminate the 1503 procedure on Iran due to the ongoing violations of human rights in that country. Sadly, our request was not acted upon. In the meanwhile, the situation has further deteriorated, yet this Council chose not to discuss human rights violations in Iran until the UPR last month. We commend those countries which raised tough questions about the severe human rights violations in Iran, and therefore utilized the UPR for its stated purpose, namely, the objective review of that country’s human rights obligations and commitments.

We come before this Council again to renew our urgent request to initiate a special procedure that will examine violations of human rights in Iran. The aftermath of the election last year has proven beyond a doubt the tyrannical nature of the Government in Iran. While the world watched, the Government brutally suppressed freedom of expression and peaceful protests. Those whom the regime broadly defined as members of the opposition were subject to arbitrary arrest and, in many cases, physical and psychological torture.

Only a handful of countries still execute juvenile offenders, but of those that do, Iran has the highest numbers of executions by far. In Iran, capital punishment is meted out for homosexuality and apostasy. Members of the Baha’i leadership continue to be held in detention after their arrest in May 2008.

The systemic assault on the human dignity of Iran’s own citizens has continued unabated during this Council’s existence. Waiting until the next UPR to discuss Iran is not an acceptable option to the victims of this oppressive Government. This situation urgently requires a Special Rapporteur.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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