UN representative: If Iran provides human rights, it should not worry about UN Special Rapporteur's visit

UN representative: If Iran provides human rights, it should not worry about UN Special Rapporteur's visit

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend T. Konyayeva /

If a country provides human rights, then it should not worry about visits by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, the official representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said.

"The role of the Special Rapporteur is not simply to criticize," Colville said. "It also has a constructive role, to help states see whether human rights [policies] are dead or alive and to suggest actions to remedy them. So, there should be nothing to be afraid of if the human rights situation in a particular country is good."

Iranian official representatives stated that Iran will not accept the UN special rapporteur.

Touching on this, the Head of Iran's judiciary system Sadiq Larijani said that cooperation between Iran and the UN is used against Iran.

On June 17 the UN Council on Human Rights appointed former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed to the position of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

"Rapporteurs go everywhere: they go to the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe. They sometimes have critical things to say, no matter where they go", he added.

"The Special Rapporteur on Iran is actually here, in Geneva now. He started his work this week; he has held his first talks about a Special Rapporteur's work. There are a number of other countries which have a special rapporteur and many thematic rapporteurs. So, he tried his start. He obviously has few things to say about his mandate. At the moment I can't say too much because he is at a preliminary stage. We have to see what will happen", Colville added.

A resolution to appoint a special rapporteur to assess Iran's human rights situation was adopted at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 24.

About 22 representatives of 47 Council members voted for the resolution: 7 - against, 14 abstained. Among the abstaining states were Russia, Pakistan and China. The members of the Human Rights Council called on Tehran to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and to allow him entrance into the country.

In response, the Iranian delegation strongly rejected the appointment, accusing a number of member-states in using the UN Human Rights Council for political purposes against Iran.

The Human Rights Council founded in 2006 as part of the United Nations replaces the Commission on Human Rights. The council members are UN members, elected by the General Assembly.

The Human Rights Council may establish and abolish the so-called special procedures of rapporteurs, experts, and working groups which focus on specific human rights issues, (for example the Special Rapporteur on torture and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions), or Human Rights in a certain area (for 2010 - Burundi, Cambodia, North Korea, Haiti, Myanmar, Palestinian Territories, Somalia and Sudan).
Special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Secretary-General. After receiving their mandate, the rapparteurs act independently of the state.

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