UN Watch in the News

UN Watch in the News — February 2023

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during February 2023 on topics including the EU boycott of the 44th Anniversary of the Iranian revolution, the Islamic Regime in Iran’s Foreign Minister addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Quoted in Politico, “Poland, Hungary ignore EU boycott to celebrate Iranian revolution in Tehran,” February 13, 2023:

Poland and Hungary broke ranks with other EU countries in Tehran last week and sent their ambassadors to a formal reception with President Ebrahim Raisi to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

“How could you — as the regime beats, blinds, tortures, rapes and kills innocent protesters for crying out ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ — bow before the Butcher of Tehran?,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of the United Nations Watch, an advocacy group, asked Poland’s foreign ministry on Twitter.

Featured in CBS News, “Iran couple reportedly sentenced to decade in prison after posting dance video on Instagram,” February 1, 2023:

A young couple have been sentenced by an Iranian court to more than a decade in prison each after posting a video of themselves dancing in front of a major Tehran landmark, according to a U.S.-based human rights group and Britain’s BBC News.

Quoted in Radio Free France Internationale, “The Executive Director of the UN Watch: The Speech of the Foreign Minister of the ‘Killer’ Regime of Iran at the U.N. Human Rights Council Should Be Sanctioned [translated from Farsi],” February 25, 2023:

Hillel Neuer, the executive director of United Nations Watch, asked the foreign ministers of all countries to leave the hall during the speech of Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in response to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s treatment of protesters. Amir Abdollahian is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of this meeting in Geneva and give a speech on Monday, February 27.

Featured in Newsweek, “Putin Is ‘Not Smart’ and ‘Lost Everything,’ Ex-Russian Diplomat Says,” February 21, 2023:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has “lost everything” because of his decision to invade Ukraine nearly a year ago, former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev said.

Quoted in IranWire, “Swiss Envoy’s Visit To Iranian Shrine Triggers ‘Hijab-Gate’ Controversy,” February 23, 2023:

The head-to-toe black outfit worn by the Swiss envoy to Tehran during her visit to a Shia shrine this week has sparked outrage both inside and outside Iran, as the country has been swept by five months of nationwide protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights.

Human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer said Olivieri Lozano had become a “star of the murderous regime’s propaganda.”

“While women in Iran are being beaten, blinded, tortured, raped and killed for daring to protest the compulsory hijab laws, she is complicit in her head-to-toe chador and hijab,” Neuer tweeted.

Mentioned in Iran International, “Massive Rally In Brussels Calls For Designating IRGC As Terror Group,” February 20, 2023:

An estimated crowd of more than 20,000 held a rally in Brussels to call on EU countries to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

A diverse group of figures delivered speeches in the Belgian capital condemning the Islamic Republic and its multifunctional armed force, the IRGC, expressing solidarity with the dissidents in Iran who have been out on streets since September protesting for the fall of the clerical regime.

Former US President George W. Bush, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, member of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Theo Francken, Former Assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs John Bolton, Executive Director of United Nations Watch Hillel Neuer, Member of the European Parliament Abir Al-Sahlan, and member of the Hamburg city parliament Danial Ilkhanipour delivered speeches or sent messages for the Brussels rally.

Quoted in Ynet News, “UN Human Rights Council to host Iranian foreign minister,” February 27, 2023:

Amidst months of continuous protests in Iran and calls for regime change on the ground, the UN Human Rights Council (UNCHR), which features Cuba, China and Pakistan, is evidently taking a different approach, in what many activists consider to be a slap in the face to Iranian protesters whose rights are systematically violated.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch said, “It cannot be business as usual at the U.N.’s top human rights body when the representative of this murderous regime is invited to the podium. We are calling on all democracies to show solidarity with the oppressed people of Iran by walking out of the room when he is given the floor, just as they did when Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke at the same assembly last year.”

Neuer told Ynet that the hashtag for the call to action, #WalkoutIRI, has been shared millions of times and has the support of numerous Iranian dissident voices such as Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad and Iranian actress Elnaaz Norouzi.

“Democracies who care about human rights should walk out…the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei is a criminal regime…a regime that kills tortures rapes hangs and blinds its own people does not deserve to be given a platform,” said Neuer.

More than 30 letters have been sent to democratic countries calling on them to walk out of the session. As of the time of publication, Neuer said European and other democratic countries had not confirmed whether or not they would take part in the walkout.

Mentioned in The Algemeiner, “Ken Roth Goes to the UK to Spread His Anti-Israel Libels,” February 20, 2023:

On February 13, the BBC aired filmed and audio interviews with Ken Roth, the former director of Human Rights Watch.

Sackur then raised the topic of a 2019 study conducted by UN Watch, which found that “over an 18-month period Ken Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, devoted more than 70% of his tweets alleging “illegal” acts to the criticism of one single country: Israel.”

Mentioned in Ynet News, “Senior Zelensky adviser says Ukraine to ‘stop voting against Israel’ at UN,” February 23, 2023:
A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday lamented his country’s recent voting record against Israel in the United Nations and vowed that won’t repeat itself.
According to UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the world body, Ukraine has supported 78% of UN resolutions against Israel since 2015.
Quoted in The Times of Israel, “Defying EU boycott, Poland and Hungary send envoys to Iran Revolution anniversary,” February 14, 2023:
Ambassadors representing both Poland and Hungary were pictured at a state ceremony commemorating the 44th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, despite EU members’ boycott of Tehran in light of its brutal suppression of anti-government protesters.

Hillel Neuer, executive director at UN Watch, labeled Hungary and Poland’s decision to attend the ceremony a “shame.”

“Poland and Hungary broke ranks with other EU countries in Tehran and sent ambassadors to a formal reception with President Ebrahim Raisi to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the Iranian revolution,” Neuer tweeted on Monday.

UN Watch