UN expert acknowledges encouraging signs in iran’s human rights situation

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NEW YORK, Oct 26 (APP)::There are encouraging signs of progress in Iran’s human rights situation, but noted reports of some violations and called for institutional reforms, a UN expert on the country’s human rights situation said Thursday.

Presenting a full report to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, Special Rapporteur Asma Jahangir said positive
developments included a high turnout in presidential and local elections, positive statements on human rights made by
President Hassan Rouhani, and the Charter on Citizen’s Rights unveiled by the president last December.
“The current human rights situation in Iran is deeply concerning in many respects, but I also believe that there are some
encouraging signs which I hope will be realized in the near future,she said.
“I continue to hope that the human rights situation will improve in the country through the efforts of the Government.
This will require an enabling political environment both at the national and at the global level,” she added.
In her remarks about freedom of press in Iran, Ms. Jahangir said people working in the media, including journalists
working abroad, are placed under surveillance.
Ms. Jahangir called for progress to protect the rights of women – in practice, and in legislation – to ensure the
independence of the judiciary, and to ensure remedy, and reparation.
Ms. Jahangir said use of the death penalty was another cause of concern.
“I urge the Iranian authorities to urgently abolish the sentencing of children to death, and to engage in a comprehensive
process of commutation of all death sentences issued against children, in line with juvenile justice standards,” the
Special Rapporteur said.
Ms. Jahangir added her praise for all those working for human rights in Iran, including those sharing information
with her. “I would like to pay tribute to those who continue to speak out and provide information to my mandate,”
said the Special Rapporteur.
Reacting to the report, Iran’s delegate Mohammad Hassani said his country had been the target of a political
charade, adding that there were no grounds for producing four reports on the human rights situation in Iran, as
duplication did not give credibility.
The latest report of the Special Rapporteur, he said, was the product of a politically motivated mandate, in
which the basic principles of impartiality and professionalism had been largely disregarded. A prejudiced mandate
had brought about a biased outcome.
The Iranian delegate said the bigoted Muslim ban by the United States had not been touched upon, nor had
the imposition of illegal sanctions under dubious pretexts. The report had further disregarded Iranians who had fallen
victim to terrorists, Hassani said.
On the subject of minorities, he said fabrications implying division were absurd. Belonging to a minority did not
imply impunity, and followers of all faiths enjoyed equal freedom to worship in Iran. The report ignored the United
States’ exploitation of its own citizens with Iranian backgrounds, and it should call for an end to the abuse of those
individuals.
Pakistan’s delegate Jawad Ali Chaudhry said free and impartial elections affirmed Iran’s commitment to the
democratic process. He called for non-interference in internal State affairs and said greater efforts were needed
to prevent duplicated efforts on the matter.