May 27, 2022

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A look at UN special rapporteur’s visit to Iran

According to Deputy Head of the Iranian Judiciary and Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi, the special rapporteur demanded for the visit, which has been accepted by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Western powers especially the US impose coercive measures or sanctions on countries like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and so on.

On UN special rapporteurs
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is the most important international entity involved in human rights issues, which is affiliated to the UN General Assembly. The UNHRC has created different mechanism to upgrade and support human rights throughout the globe, including the special rapporteurs. 

There are 58 special rapporteurs involved in thematic or country-specific perspective. The West pushed the UNHRC to appoint a special rapporteur on Iran named Javid Rehman, a British-Pakistani legal scholar.

Iran labored hard in 2016 to create coordination among the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in a bid to promote Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights.

Alena Douhan, a Belarussian professor of international law, started her job as the UNHRC special rapporteur in 2020. She has traveled to Venezuela, Qatar, and Zimbabwe since March 2020. 

The main mission of special rapporteurs of sanctions is that they review negative impacts of embargo on enjoyment of human rights.

Background of special rapporteurs’ trips to Iran
Tehran invited UNHCR special rapporteurs in 2003. The last trip by special rapporteurs to Iran happened in 2005. In the last 15 years, none of the UNHCR rapporteurs visited Iran, so Douhan’s trip can open a new chapter in the country’s cooperation with human rights bodies.

A point
The reports prepared by UNHCR special rapporteurs are not binding, but they can attract attention to a particular issue at international level.

However, Douhan’s mission is merely related to the negative impacts of sanctions on human rights in Iran, so she is not expected to exceed that limit.


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