Sunday , 14 July 2024

UN Rapporteur: New president won’t improve Iran’s human rights

iranintl – The UN Special Rapporteur on Iran has stated that due to systemic issues within Iran’s judicial system, a change in presidency is unlikely to improve the country’s human rights situation.

In an interview with Iran International on Friday, Javaid Rehman emphasized that with power concentrated in the Supreme Leader and the lack of an independent judiciary, prospects for democracy and respect for human rights remain bleak.

Rehman, who will leave his post in July, discussed his findings publicly for the first time outside the UN in Toronto, Canada, after being unable to travel to Iran to investigate human rights in Iran during his six-year tenure. The Iranian government, which dismisses all accusations in regard to human rights violations, has not permitted UN special rapporteurs to visit the country and conduct investigations.

In response to Iran International’s question about how he could investigate Iran’s human rights issues without traveling to Iran, Rehman said that he had held many meetings with the Iranian diaspora and individuals who had first-hand experiences of human rights violations, allowing him to collect substantial evidence.

Farrokh Zandi, a professor in the Economics department at York University who organized the event for the rights group Canadians for Democracy in Iran, told Iran International that the event followed Canada’s designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

“After Canada’s designation, Javaid Rehman showed interest in traveling to Canada. Here, he had his first public sharing of his latest report, in which he had spoken to survivors of the atrocities of the Islamic Republic and had thoroughly categorized the crimes against them,” Zandi said.

Previously, Rehman had labeled Iran’s mass executions of political prisoners in the 1988 as “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.” In June, during a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, he unveiled a detailed report showing systemic state-sponsored atrocities during a brutal crackdown on dissent. His investigation revealed that thousands of political prisoners, including Baha’is, Kurds, and members of groups like the MEK, were executed in the 1980s, particularly in the summer of 1988, following a fatwa issued by Iran’s then-leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, and approved by a four-member death committee.

Rehman’s comprehensive reports, along with a detailed 400-page report from the Fact-Finding Mission on Iran, have paved the way for international tribunals and greater use of existing international jurisdiction to prosecute those responsible. The focus remains on collecting evidence that can withstand scrutiny in court. Rehman’s latest report will be published on his website later this month.