UN Rights Rapporteur Appreciates Stands by Iran's New Gov't

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – United Nations special human rights rapporteur on Iran appreciated the Iranian diplomats and experts for their close cooperation with him, saying a new atmosphere has emerged in the country following the election of President Rouhani.

UN Rights Rapporteur Appreciates Stands by Iran's New Gov't

“I must at the beginning express my gratitude for the positive and constructive meetings I have had with Iranian representatives both in New York and in Geneva,” Ahmad Shaheed told the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, on Wednesday.

He appreciated Iranian experts who "took their time to reply to the cases which I bought up in details,” and added that in the course of "my research I tried to listen to various complaints and accusations.”

“I must also express satisfaction over the new stands adopted by the new Iranian government, because parallel with coming to power of Mr. Rouhani, a new atmosphere has emerged in Iran," he said.

 “The new Iranian president set foot at the scene with an agenda for change, and therefore, we are faced with an exceptional atmosphere in Iran which can be the harbinger of a different future.”

The special UN rapporteur referred to the promises given to the Iranian nation by President Rouhani during his presidential campaign, saying, “It is expected that the obstacles in the way of observation of  human rights in Iran, as they have been detailed in my report, would be scrutinized and efforts would be made to lift them.”

He also expressed satisfaction over the release from prison of a good number of prisoners in Iran and hoped for the continuation of that process.

In related news, a member of Iranian delegation to UN here Wednesday rejected accusations made by  Shaheed on status of human rights in Iran observation, calling his report unjust, biased, and politically motivated.

The response was read out for the UN 3rd commission by a member of the Iranian delegation, right after Ahmad Shaheed’s report.

It said Iran expects rights reports to be unbiased, objective, and free from pressure of political lobbyists, and include recent social and political developments in Iran.

The member of the Iranian delegation seriously criticized the comprising factors in the report and called them contrary to the realities and developments of the present day Iranian society.

The UN special rapporteur’s scathing report details what Ahmad Shaheed calls human rights abuses in Iran, but he says recent signals from new President Hassan Rouhani have raised hopes for change.

Ahmed Shaheeds report on Wednesday condemned a rise in the number of jailed journalists in Iran over the past decade and executions for drug trafficking crimes.

He expressed alarm about a law being considered that would allow a custodian to marry his adopted child.

But Shaheed welcomed the recent release of more than a dozen political prisoners and a number of positive signals from Rouhani.

Iran rejected Shaheed’s findings as a biased approach that does not merit public trust or confidence.

On June 17, 2011, the UN Human Rights Council, under pressure from the United States and its allies, named former Maldivian foreign minister, Ahmed Shaheed, as human rights rapporteur on Iran.

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