— Sharon Bender
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted March 24 to appoint an investigator, called a special rapporteur, to look into Iran’s human rights violations. The 22 to 7 vote, with 14 abstentions and four not taking part, indicates the council is taking serious notice of Iran’s long-standing human rights violations.
More after the jump.
B’nai B’rith also applauds the U.S. mission in Geneva for its hard work in support of the resolution. U.S. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the council that the United States and other nations were “gravely concerned at the situation in Iran, where respect for human rights has deteriorated dramatically in recent years.”
In high-level meetings in Geneva earlier this month, a B’nai B’rith International delegation urged council members to support the resolution implementing a special rapporteur.
“Iran’s human rights record is deplorable,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “The Human Rights Council did the right thing in voting to formally investigate a government that does not allow dissenting voices, that jails opposition figures in brutal conditions, and that uses the death penalty as a growing form of punishment, even on minors.”
This is the first country-specific special rapporteur to have been instituted since the creation of the council in 2006.
During the 16th session of the council, much of the four-week long gathering has been focused on Israel.
“It is encouraging to see the council can in fact see beyond Israel,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “It is significant that the Human Rights Council members, some voting outside their traditional lines of support, are taking Iran’s escalating human rights abuses seriously.”