The opening of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council on Monday February 27 saw interventions from a number of delegates, during the session’s introductory High Level Segment.
Amongst them were remarks given by Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian – the first made by an Iranian government official at the Human Rights Council since it last convened for a Special Session on the recent protest movement, culminating in the establishment of an independent, international fact-finding mission.
His presence prompted a walkout by several delegations, in reaction to the Iranian government’s systematic human rights abuses.
In his speech, Amir-Abdollahian gave voice to familiar government talking points, contradicted by the facts on the ground, and invariably debunked by Iranian civil society and human rights stakeholders:
| The minister described the protests as “peaceful assemblies turned violent following the intervention of violent terrorist elements”.||Authorities responded to protests with live amnunition against unmarmed protesters and bystanders who posed no threat to life. Since September 19 2022, more than 500 people, including at least 71 children, died during the protests.|
|“UN Human Rights mechanisms should contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights through dialogue and capacity building.”||Iranian authorities have failed to fully implement 403 out of the 404 recommendations they received from UN human rights mechanisms since 1993.|
|“A national committee was established and mandated to investigate any complaint regarding the alleged use of unnecessary force by police.”||UN Special Rapporteur on Iran Javaid Rehman in 2022: “there is a complete absence of accountability” for human rights violations in Iran, “with no prospects that it could be achieved at the domestic level”.|
|“No country can claim to be perfect in its human rights performance.”||“What-about-ism” is no justification for gross human rights violations. Iran occupies some of the lowest ranks in terms of protection and realization of human rights|
Find the minister’s full intervention at the #HRC52 below, via UN Web TV: