Joint Letter to UN Member States: Walkout on Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on February 27th


Appeal to UN Member States: Walk Out on Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on February 27th

The following public appeal is addressed to all UN Member States, and is being sent by formal diplomatic request. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is due to address the annual opening of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27 in Geneva. 

We urge all country delegations to walk out of the session as soon as Mr. Amir-Abdollahian begins to speak, ideally in coordination with the delegations of other like-minded member nations.

The human rights record of the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been good, but this past year it has outdone itself in repression and violence. Since the hijab protests began, the regime has killed hundreds of protesters, wounded many more, and reportedly thrown into its notorious prisons some 18,000 of its own citizens. 

A staged walkout will not be an unprecedented gesture. Just last year, delegates demonstrably got up and walked off when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the same session of the UNHRC. 

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, has described this year’s violence as the culmination of “chronic immunity and lack of redress for previous violations.” Refusing to be a backdrop for an Iranian official’s address to the UNHRC certainly doesn’t constitute redress, but walking out will be a first step to ending the chronic impunity.

Nothing can be done to prevent the Iranian Foreign Minister from coming to Geneva and lying to the assembled delegates about this regime’s own crimes. But the free nations of the world can and must register their horror at Iran’s actions these past months with a coordinated walkout.

We are calling on the delegations of all 193 UN member states who will be present in the room on Monday, February 27th to walk out.

#WalkoutIRI Endorsements

Listed below are more than 100 prominent figures including parliamentarians, human rights advocates, actors, academics, journalists, civil society activists, non-governmental organizations and tech entrepreneurs who have endorsed the call on countries to walk out on Iran’s foreign minister on February 27th, by creating, sharing or liking social media posts urging #WallkoutIRI.

Iranian Activists

    • Masih Alinejad, Iranian Journalist and Activist
    • Ladan Boroumand, Historian, author, human rights activist
    • Amin Pouria, Iranian Activist
    • Gissou Nia, Human Rights Lawyer
    • Mahnaz Shariat, Director of Iranian Community Network
    • Dr. Samineh Shaheem, Psychologist and Activist
    • Gazelle Sharmahd, Activist and Daughter of Iranian Political Prisoner Jamshid Sharmahd
    • Mariam Memarsadeghi, Activist and Founder of Cyrus Forum
    • Fariborz Karamizand, Iranian Dissident in Exile
    • Meti, Iranian Activist
    • Homayoun Naderifar, Political Activist
    • Pooya Shoghi, Human Rights Lawyer
    • Kenan Rahmani, Lawyer
    • Dr. Iman Taheri, Poet and Surgeon
    • Arash Hampay, Activist and Photographer
    • Pooyan Mokari, Writer
    • Zenyab Kolsoom, Writer
    • Arash Azizi, Writer
    • Ferdows Kazemi, Writer
    • Azar Nafisi, Writer

Parliamentarians, Officials, Political Leaders

    • Tineke Strik, Member of the European Parliament, Dutch Green Party
    • Bob van Pareren, Member of the Senate of the Netherlands
    • David Assouline, Senator for Paris
    • Marianne Binder, Member of the Swiss National Council
    • Veronika Honkasalo, Member of Finnish Parliament
    • Fredrik Malm, Member of Swedish Parliament
    • Rémi Féraud, French Senator and Former Mayor of Paris 
    • Beatriz Becerra, Former Member of the European Parliament
    • Volker Beck, Former Member of the German Bundestag
    • Carla Sands, Former US Ambassador to Denmark
    • Ellie Cohanim, Senior Fellow at Independent Women’s Forum, Former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism
    • Gert-Jan Segers, Former Dutch Parliamentarian and Chairman of the Christian Union Party
    • MuSochua, Human Rights Activist, Former Cambodian Member of Parliament
    • Omar Abdul Sattar Mahmoud, Former Iraqi Member of Parliament
    • Kanchan Gupta, Senior Advisor Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India
    • Bidur Adhikari, General Secretary of the Social Unity Party in Nepal 
    • Francois Bechieau, National Secretary of the Progressives Movement in France
    • Marco Kappenberger, Former Baha’i Representative to the United Nations

Artists, Authors, Celebrities 

    • Elnaaz Norouzi, Actress
    • Nazanin Boniadi, Actress
    • Sophia Aram, Actress
    • Shiva Negar, Actress
    • Nazanin NourActress
    • Omid Djalili, Actor
    • Nabaut EtminanEntrepreneur and Influencer 
    • Tavleen Singh, Author and Columnist
    • Reza Hajilou, Author
    • Sima Sabet, Talk Show Host for Iran International
    • Yvan Le Bolloc’h, French Television Host
    • Siba Shakib, Best-Selling Author
    • Andrea Chalupa, Author
    • Nicola Werdenigg, Austrian Skier
    • Maz Jobrani, Comedian
    • Shohreh Aghdashloo, Actress, Human Rights Advocate
    • Shila Ommi, Actor, Director, Producer



    • Women For Iran
    • Action For Iran
    • Human Rights Foundation
    • NoToExecution Campaign
    • Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative
    • UANI, United Against Nuclear Iran
    • European Democrat Students, Official Student Organisation of the European People’s Party
    • Mardom Foundation, Iranian NGO
    • International Organization to Preserve Human Rights
    • Free Cuba Foundation
    • Jewish Policy Center
    • Citizen Power Initiatives For China

Civil Society Activists

    • Dr. Nina Ansary, World Affairs Councils of America
    • Jason Brodsky, United Against Nuclear Iran
    • Melissa Amirkhizy, European Liberal Forum
    • Clifford D. May, Foundation for Defense of Democracies 
    • Ammar Maleki, Professor at Tilburg University and Board Member of Iran Human Rights
    • Terry Glavin, Author and Senior Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
    • Aras Nathan, Advisor for NAFFO
    • Hillary Innocent Taylor Seguya, Global Youth Ambassador at Their World
    • Faran Jeffery, Deputy Director at Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism
    • Anila Ali, Author and Pakistan Chair for International Religious Freedom Roundtable

Journalists & Academics

    • Pouria Zeraati, Media Personality
    • Dariush Memar, Journalist at Independent Persian
    • Nooshabeh Amiri, Journalist at Iran International 
    • Dr. Jordan Peterson, Author, Professor of Psychology, Podcaster
    • Mayra K. Yazdari, Journalist and CBN News Anchor
    • John J. Metzler, Journalist for the World Tribune
    • Shahed Alavi, Journalist
    • Kezhal Dashti, Journalist Associated Press and Dashti Media
    • Christoph Strack, Journalist for Deutsche Welle
    • Sana Ebrahimi, Citizen Journalist
    • Savan Qadir, Journalist and Project Manager at Refugees4Justice
    • Shler Bapiri, Kurdish Journalist and Board Member of the Hengaw Human Rights Organization
    • Jacopo Barigazzi, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for Politico
    • Björn Stritzel, Chief Foreign and Security Policy Correspondent for Bild
    • Farzad Fattahi, TV producer for Iran International 
    • Darek Ćwiklak, Journalist for Newsweek

Notable Individuals

    • Sherazade Semsar, CEO of McCourt Global and Former CEO Politico Europe
    • Martin Baron, Professor at the University of Manchester
    • Mike Touzard, Tech Entrepreneur
    • Ardalan Mefa, Tech Entrepreneur
    • Monika Borgmann, Filmmaker & Co-Director of UMAM Documentation & Research
    • Mohammad Kazem Attari, Doctor and Medical Researcher
    • Arman Eshraghi, Chair of Finance and Investment at Cardiff University
    • Razieh Irani, Iranian Doctor
    • Sherazad Adib, Senior Director of Catalyst Inc

Get Involved

Join the campaign: share one of our social media posts, tag your foreign minister, and add the hashtag #WalkoutIRI

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UN Watch