Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Intervention: United Nations 3rd Committee: Interactive Dialogue on Human Rights in Iran

New York, 25/10/2017 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 180116_5
Statements on behalf of the EU

25 October 2017, New York – European Union Intervention at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir.

Thank you, Mr Chair,

We thank the Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, for her report and presentation to the Committee.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

At this first dialogue in the Third Committee in your role as Special Rapporteur, we welcome your commitment to the issue of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We thank you for your recent report and value your cooperation with other human rights mandate holders. We also appreciate the efforts made to include the comments received from the Government in the report to the General Assembly. While we continue to welcome the pledges made by Iranian representatives on various human rights issues and acknowledge the legislative and administrative changes that address some human rights violations, we remain concerned note at the same time by the persisting human rights situation concerns, as documented in the reports presented by the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur. We therefore urge action to transform these pledges into concrete results.

Accordingly, we welcome the opportunity to hear your views, Madam Special Rapporteur, on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Iran.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

– Your report and the report of the Secretary-General refer to the alarming rate at which the death penalty is carried out, in disregard of internationally recognized safeguards. You note in your report that the executions of juvenile offenders have continued at an unprecedented rate since the beginning of the year. We continue to urge Iran to abolish the death penalty in particular when offence was committed as a juvenile. The majority of the executions continue to be imposed for drug -related offences. The Iranian law also permits the imposition of the death penalty for the so-called crimes of adultery, premarital sex, apostasy, blasphemy and homosexuality.

Could you elaborate on the status of the Law to Combat Drugs which, once adopted, could introduce prison sentences for drug related crimes instead of imposing the death penalty?

– By ratifying international human rights instruments, the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed itself to protecting human rights defenders and to ensuring freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly. We have welcomed the pledges made to this effect by President Rouhani. Nevertheless we are concerned that these rights continue to be violated disrespected and we have seen little evidence of actual implementation of those pledges.

Could you please elaborate what would be the most needed steps in order to improve the situation [to exercise everyone’s right to freedom of expression]?

– The EU shares your concern about the continued human rights violations against persons belonging to recognized and unrecognized religious minorities including, but not limited to, Christians, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith and their defenders, and ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief presented in your report.

What immediate measures could be taken in order to improve the situation of persons belonging to religious minorities in Iran?

Madam Special Rapporteur,

We note with regret that your requests for a country visit have not yet been granted. We strongly encourage the Government to grant access to the Special Rapporteur to visit the country as this would help facilitate the human rights dialogue on important areas of concern.

Thank you.

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