12 March 2012
“One of the most important aspects of this mandate is its capacity to give voice to those that believe themselves to be silenced by fear and lack of recourse,” says the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed. The expert will share with the media his findings on capital punishment, free and fair elections and women’s rights, as well as the situation of prisoners of conscience, students and journalists.
“Every country places certain limits on freedom of expression, association and assembly, but it is essential that these restrictions are not misused by authorities to close the space for criticism, or advocacy of policies and actions that have an impact on the public interest,” he says.
Since his appointment in August 2011, the independent expert has made official requests to Iran for a country visit, without obtaining a positive response from the authorities. “This apparent unwillingness to cooperate substantively only heightens concern over the human rights situation,” Mr. Shaheed notes.
The Special Rapporteur’s statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council will be issued under embargo at 2 p.m. and he will speak to journalists in a press conference at 4 p.m. at the Palais des Nations.
UN Human Rights, Country Page – Iran: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/IRIndex.aspx