Iran has criticised the UN special rapporteur tasked with investigating its human rights record for publishing a damning report that warns against widespread and systematic violations. Ahmed Shaheed’s latest report charges the Islamic republic with cases of torture, executions, illegal arrests of journalists, forced confessions and denial of basic rights to religious, ethnic and sexual minorities. The former foreign affairs minister of the Maldives is extremely critical of the Iranian government for its failure to protect citizens’ rights under the country’s constitution and international obligations as well as fostering a “culture of impunity” for perpetrators. He also expressed concern about “the potentially negative humanitarian effect of general economic sanctions” on Iran and called on the countries behind the punitive measures to make sure that “humanitarian exemptions are effectively serving their intended purpose”. In January, the Guardian reported on hundreds of thousands of Iranians with serious illnesses whose lives are at risk because of dire shortages of life-saving medicines. Soon after Shaheed assumed his mandate from the UN human rights council in June 2011, Iranian officials said they would not permit him to enter the country, saying that his appointment was unacceptable and “an illegal measure”. Shaheed’s findings, which are due… Read full this story
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