New York, NY (BBN)– The United Nations Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to appoint a special rapporteur to look into the situation in Iran, expressing concern over its lack of cooperation with a previous General Assembly call for the country’s authorities to improve their human rights record.
In a resolution adopted with 22 votes in favour, seven against and 14 abstentions, the 47-member Council said the rapporteur would report to both the Council and to the General Assembly.
The text also called on the Iranian Government to grant access to the country for the independent human rights expert who will take up the rapporteur post.
Earlier this month Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released an interim report to the Council on the human rights situation within Iran, noting “many areas of continuing concern.”
Mr. Ban said he had been “deeply troubled by reports of increased executions, amputations, arbitrary arrest and detention, unfair trials, and possible torture and ill-treatment of human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and opposition activists.”
The report encouraged the government in Tehran to address the concerns raised and to fully guarantee freedom of expression and assembly.
Iranian authorities had taken some positive steps, Mr. Ban’s report noted, such as preventing stoning from being used as a method of execution and limiting the application of the death penalty on juvenile offenders.
But “these measures have not been systematically enforced and cases of this nature continue to arise.”
Speaking against the resolution, Iranian representative Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi warned that the Council must not be the domain of the few and must avoid politicization and double standards.
BBN/SSR/AD-25Mar11-5:19 pm (BST)