The UN Human Rights Committee, the expert treaty body tasked with reviewing countries’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), confronted the Iranian government delegation with grave violations of the treaty on 17 and 18 October in Geneva.
Aaron Rhodes, spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and attendee at the session, said that it seemed as thought the Iranian delegation were biding their time. “It is truly unfortunate the Committee raised concerns about the same issues in 2011 that were raised in 1993, which was the last time Iran submitted to a review,” he said. Adding that the Iranian delegation seemed surprised by the number of questions raised, Rhodes said that Iran’s ICCPR review had to be extended to an unprecedented length due to the insufficiency of Iran’s written responses in answering the Committee’s questions.
During the review the Iranian delegation attempted to deflect criticisms by consuming response time with meandering responses. Instead of responding to the Committee’s concern about facts on the ground in Iran, the delegation often repeated that Iran’s laws and practices protect human rights. They claimed the principle of cultural relativism gives Iran latitude to interpret its human rights obligations.>>>
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