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Testimony at the UN

The UN Must Convene a Special Session on Iran

UN Watch Oral Statement
UN Human Rights Council, 13th Regular Session
Delivered by Bethany Singer-Baefsky, 16 March 2010

Agenda Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Thank you, Mr. President.

We call attention to the document that is before this Council today, NGO/117, an urgent appeal by fifty human rights activists from Iran.

It reads as follows:

Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
Dear Madam High Commissioner,

Shocked and anguished by the tyranny, oppression, and gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran since the fraudulent June elections;

Recalling that the Universal Declaration guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person, and the democratic right to participate in genuine elections; and prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest and detention,

Reiterating the call on 2 July 2009 by Iranian and international human rights activists for the U.N. Secretary General to name a Personal Envoy for Iran to investigate the post-election violence in Iran,

We hereby call upon you to lead the United Nations and the international community in convening an urgent and immediate Special Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, on the grave violations of international human rights law in Iran since the fraudulent June elections; and, in that context, for the Council to establish an independent, international and impartial commission of inquiry to investigate:

- The complicity of Iran’s senior leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in perpetuating massive election fraud, followed by the brutal arrests, beating and killing of peaceful demonstrators by the Basij and other government forces, including the deadly 20 June 2009 shooting of 27-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan.

- The torture and abuse of defendants following their arrest, with credible reports of rape of women and male detainees by security officials;

- The show trials of more than 100 Iranians, designed to delegitimize the mass and peaceful protests following the June elections;

We now look to your moral leadership to give hope to the millions seeking human rights, freedom and justice in Iran.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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