Iranian activists hold press conference while top regime officials attend UN Refugee Forum



GENEVA, December 13, 2023 — A high-level delegation of Iranian diaspora women, including international lawyers, human rights advocates, geopolitical experts, celebrities, and victims of Iran’s gender apartheid regime, held a counter-narrative press conference on the sidelines of the UN Global Refugee Forum.  Press Photos

The panelists shed light on the Iranian regime’s glaring hypocrisy: While its delegates travel freely to Europe with a mission to push an avalanche of false narratives to shape global public opinion, the same regime banned the family of Jina Mahsa Amini from traveling to accept the Sakharov Prize; as it prevented – through imprisonment — Nobel laureate Narges Mohammadi, from travel to accept her Nobel Peace Prize.

Iran’s regime has systematically misused global forums, including the UN, to delegitimize human rights values and thus erode global public trust in the UN and the mission of all human rights-related NGOs.

The world’s only regime that sanctions gender apartheid cannot be allowed to monopolize the narrative on human rights, as it seeks to do at the UN Global Refugee Forum.

With its dubious distinction as the world’s second highest executioner (after China), the Iranian regime will once again misuse and manipulate the UN forum to amplify misinformation and fallacies to divert attention from its massive human rights violations, including the execution of women and children in Iran.

The Global Refugee Forum will offer the Iranian regime a free hand to whitewash its record as one of the most ruthless violators of refugee rights as evidenced by the mistreatment, abuse, and violence – including beatings, detention, and inhumane conditions – against millions of Afghan refugees in Iran

Representing a variety of backgrounds from the Iranian Diaspora, this panel asked participants of the World Refugee Forum to think twice before meeting and shaking hands with delegates of a regime that has systematically murdered its own people, maintained a system of gender apartheid and promoted militancy and instability throughout the region, which has arrived on the shores of the EU.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the leading state sponsor of terror, funding proxy terrorist groups to instigate wars and instability, causing an exodus of migrants in neighboring countries, including here in Europe. And this regime dares attend the World Forum on refugees? And some of our world leaders dare to shake their hands, engage in hostage diplomacy, and create a precedent for the cycle to continue where the regime detains innocent foreign nationals to be used as pawns. The delegation of Iran should not be welcomed here.”



Azadeh Afsahi

“Innocent people released from prison are faced with rape, sexual assault, mock execution, and death. Justice is a big component of the healing process, especially for the victims of crimes. Once justice is served, they no longer blame themselves and keep the person accountable. However, the victims of the Islamic republic can’t fully recover until this regime is brought to justice.”


Sara Seyed

“For most people adulthood in Iran comes as a sobering reminder that they live in a country in which justice is perpetually unbalanced against their gender, their ethnicity, and the God they worship. A place where aspirations are silenced by gender apartheid, it is a country where you’re considered a Muslim with obligations rather than a citizen with rights.”


Maryam Banihashemi

“I’m certain that were we, Iranian exiles, and you as broadcasters of our voice, not there to channel the cries of the Iranian people, The Butcher of Tehran, President Raisi would be here in Geneva right now at the Forum – just to abuse the UN’s institutions, to broadcast the regime’s propaganda, as he did just three months ago at the UN General Assembly in New York.”



Elika Eftekhari

“Instead of waging an open war on women, the Islamic regime has mastered the misuse of governance to its extreme. This mastery of misuse extends to the highest international bodies. The same regime that imposes gender apartheid, was once welcomed as the chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. a regime that denies health insurance to more than half of its Afghan refugees, and tortures its political prisoners, is a full-fledged welcome member of the World Health Organization.”



UN Watch