Press Release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Council released the following statement after the release of the latest report from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) welcomes the latest report from Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. NIAC calls on the UN Human Rights Council to once again extend the mandate of the monitor, a critical international mechanism to investigate and address the human rights situation in Iran.
Despite recent positive signals that the Iranian government is taking steps to address the human rights abuses highlighted by the Special Rapporteur, such as the release of prisoners of conscience including human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh, Dr. Shaheed’s latest report highlights that there have not yet been any systemic changes to assure that the government of Iran complies with its human rights obligations.
NIAC condemns the human rights abuses in Iran, including the continued imprisonment of numerous human rights defenders and journalists, discrimination against women and religious minorities, and efforts to impede access to information through internet filtering. NIAC calls on the Iranian government to halt the systemic violations of human rights highlighted in Dr. Shaheed’s report, and urges the government to grant Dr. Shaheed unhindered access to investigate the human rights situation in the country.
Dr. Shaheed also highlights reports which indicate that sanctions on Iran are having an "increasingly adverse impact...on the country’s economic and social welfare and raise alarm about the apparent ineffectiveness of humanitarian safeguards." Due to the breadth of sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, there is no reliable banking channel for Iranians to import medicine and other humanitarian goods from Western countries despite legal exemptions on such transactions. The failure to effectively exempt such transactions has helped lead to shortages of medicine used to treat terminal illnesses. Dr. Shaheed's report calls on the United Nations and sanctions-imposing countries to ensure the effectiveness of humanitarian exemptions and to “prevent the potentially harmful impact of general economic sanctions on human rights.”
NIAC continues to urge the international community to support multilateral, diplomatic mechanisms necessary to effectively address Iran's human rights situation, of which the Special Rapporteur's mandate is a critical component.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. NIAC’s mission is focused on promoting an active and engaged Iranian-American community, supporting aspirations for human rights and democracy in Iran, opposing war between the US and Iran, and celebrating our community’s deep cultural heritage. NIAC accomplishes its mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by policymakers.
For more information, please visit www.niacouncil.org
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