Geneva, June 10, 2010 — The Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group, expressed disappointment today that it was removed from its top spot on the coveted list of speakers for today’s UN Human Rights Council review of Iran’s human rights record. (See below written copy of UN Watch testimony as submitted to the UN for its official record.)
Originally registered as fifth to speak, UN Watch was moved to the bottom of the list when UN bureaucrats claimed they needed a written text in advance, a rule that NGOs say may have been declared but which is rarely enforced. The result was that UN Watch was unable to speak. However, the testimony was submitted to the UN for its official records.
UN Watch Prepared Testimony by Executive Director Hillel Neuer
as Submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, 10 June 2010
Agenda Item 6: Adoption of the Universal Periodic Review’s
Report on the Islamic Republic of Iran
Two days before we mark the anniversary of the contested elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the ensuing government massacre of innocent men, women and children, we express solidarity with the long-suffering Iranian people. We are here today to say: The world has not forgotten you.
Recommendations 5 to 11 on page 22 of the report call on Iran to allow visits by the UN human rights expert on torture, so that he can investigate these practices as well as allegations of systematic, post-election violence in detention facilities, and to invite UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to investigate.
Mr. President, if Iran has nothing to hide, why did it reject this recommendation? If Iran has nothing to hide, why does it censor the communications of its people?
Recommendations 17 to 19 call on Iran to end systematic discrimination, in law and in practice, against gays.
In this regard, we recall that on 24 September 2007, speaking at Columbia University, Iranian President Ahmadinejad declared that there were no gays in Iran. Mr. President, if this is true, and there are no gays in Iran, then why did his government reject this recommendation?
Recommendation 2 calls on Iran to cease all actions as a third-State proxy, and to refrain from financing, organizing, training, supplying and equipping non-State actors committing acts in violation of international law.
To the extent that this refers to Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad, can Iran clarify why it rejected this recommendation? What does it have to hide?
Recommendation 16 calls on Iran to end incitement to hatred, including statements that show contempt for UNGA Resolution 60/7 on Holocaust remembrance, and Resolution 61/255 on Holocaust denial. If Iran opposes racism and genocide, why did it reject this recommendation?
In this regard, if Iran respects the UN Charter, why does it continue to advocate—as President Ahmadinejad did yet again on March 11—for the “annihilation” of a UN member state?
Thank you, Mr. President.