PRESS RELEASE

Geneva, Oct. 13, 2006 — UN Watch today called on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to denounce the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for sending Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, who is implicated in grave human rights violations, as its representative to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Tripartite Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

“Mr. Pour-Mohammadi is credibly believed to have been involved in the murders of thousands of political prisoners, writers, and dissidents in Iran,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization.  “This man does not deserve to be toasted at Geneva cocktails with diplomats and high UN officials — he belongs in jail.”

 

This is not the first time that Iran has shown contempt for a UN body in Geneva by sending a notorious human rights abuser to participate on its behalf.  In June, Iran’s delegation to the inaugural session of the new UN Human Rights Council included Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi, who stands accused of the 2005 torture and murder of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zarah Khazemi.  (For more information on Ms. Khazemi’s murder, click here.) The incident made international headlines and the government of Canada demanded Mr. Mortazavi’s arrest, but he managed to leave Europe without incident.

 

“The Ahmadinejad government’s policy of brazenly sending human rights criminals to major UN human rights and humanitarian assemblies is yet another example of Tehran’s complete contempt for the standards and values of the international community,” said Neuer.  “It only underscores the compelling need for the United Nations to protect its basic Charter principles by resorting to a strong remedy: suspension or expulsion of Ahmadinejad’s Iran.”  (To read about UN Watch’s campaign to urge the Security Council and General Assembly to rescind Iran’s UN membership, click here.)

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