peaceful assemblies turned violent following the malign interference by some terrorist elements
WANA (Feb 27) – The text of the speech of Dr. Hossein Amirabdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, at the 52nd meeting of the Human Rights Council Geneva.
H.E. Mr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, 27 February 2023
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I am pleased to address the Human Rights Council and share, on behalf of the Islamic republic of Iran, our thoughts and views concerning ‘human rights’ and the institutional mechanisms established for its sake.
Protection and promotion of human rights is a shared sentiment for all nations. No State or a group of States should entitle themselves to claim exclusive ownership or custody of human rights. Nor should any State coerce others into submitting to any self-styled interpretation of human rights.
For us, respect for ‘human rights and dignity’ is a core value that is deeply rooted in our national tradition and profoundly embedded in our religious beliefs. And we have worked tirelessly and constantly toward better protection and promotion of human rights and dignity. We have learned throughout our long history that we should neither be disheartened nor distracted by the odds.
I would like here to outline a few points concerning the human rights and the way this lofty concept is projected, and unfortunately manipulated, for political purposes of a limited number of States.
- The resolution that established the HRC reaffirms, quite purposefully the purposes and principles such as developing friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. In practice, though, the Council has been forced to take up certain agendas that neither serve such purposes and principles nor do they contribute to friendly relations among nations. The Council needs to reclaim its credibility and effectiveness by upholding ‘the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue’ among member States.
- Human rights are all important and ‘must be treated in a fair and equal manner.’ Economic and social rights should not be treated as second class rights after civil and political rights. After all, the protection of ‘human dignity’ obviously requires certain basic socio-economic conditions that need to be recognized and fulfilled. The right to development with all its components should be seen in this perspective.
- Unilateral coercive measures, as unlawful and inhuman as they are, systematically and flagrantly violate fundamental human rights of the targeted populations. The United States’ consecutive administrations must be held to account for perpetrating the atrocity crime. Those European and other States that comply and over-comply with the US’ unilateral coercive measures should be accountable as accomplices in the crime. Neither of them has any moral high ground to talk about Iran’s human rights. That’s a sheer hypocrisy to advocate for the human rights of the Iranians while depriving the same people of their basic rights to health, to education, and to life.
- No country can claim to be perfect in its human rights performance. The United States alone is responsible for the bulk of systematic and grave human rights violations as it ranks number one in terms of military aggressions and interventions, coup detats, and economic embargoes against other countries.
- The UN human rights mechanisms could and should contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights through genuine dialogue, constructive interaction and respectful capacity-building cooperation. The UPR mechanism is one such venue for inclusive and interactive exchanges among member States.
- The human rights institutions, including the Council, has been regrettably transmuted into an instrument of foreign policy by a handful of States led by the United States.
The peaceful assemblies that took place in my country following the sad death of Mahsa Amini manifested the Iranian spirit of solidarity and sympathy for a fellow young Iranian woman. However, those peaceful assemblies turned violent following the malign interference by some terrorist elements. In this respect, a number of Persian language TV channels based in the U.S. and the UK, acted as provocateurs of hatred and propagators of violence.
The violence that was malignly inflicted on our citizens’ peaceful assemblies by provocative and ill-intended interferences, claimed the lives of innocent lives including 95 law-enforcement personnel, and left many public and private properties destroyed or damaged. This is while the police of Iran did not have the permission to use fire arms. The rioters however murdered many people by fire arms and cold weapons.
No responsible State could let the public security and order be compromised by violent and lawless behaviour.
The national committee that was established for addressing different aspects of the unrest is also mandated to receive and investigate any complaint regarding alleged use of unnecessary force by police. It is noteworthy that the majority of those who were arrested, excluding those who committed violent crimes are already granted amnesty and released.
The national committee that has been formed to investigate the various aspects of unrest in I.R. Iran is tasked to identify the causes of recent unrest, verify the claims and allegations leveled against the law enforcement forces, to verify and report the possible negligence and failures, to compensate for the damages rendered to citizens and private and public properties and places, look into the situation of the detainees, those who have lost their lives and examine the foreign elements such as media and internet fueling riots.
It needs to be mentioned that most of the people who were arrested during the riots have been released based on the amnesty granted to them, except for those who have committed serious crimes.
One of the main challenges of the present era is the emergence of terrorist and extremist groups across the world. The recent desecration of the holy Quran in some western countries and the terrorist attack on the Holy Shrine of Shah-Cheragh in Iran which claimed the lives of 13 innocent Iranians including women and children are a few examples of such terrorism and extremism.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been always at the forefront of counter-terrorism. Our region will not forget the sacrifice and struggles of General Soleimani against the Daesh terrorism. The Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime and assassination.
Our women, during these years, have registered eye-catching progress and achievements in various areas of science and education, health and medical treatment and social and political activities, portraying a capable and dynamic image of the Iranian women to the world in all political, international, social, scientific, technological and commercial areas.
The role of anti-Iran terrorist groups in the recent riots in my country was evident and substantiated. Some European states were involved in ‘terrorism laundering’ while applying double standards. They provided considerable financial and logistical facility to some violent and terrorist elements during the unrest.
The lofty concept of human rights is nowhere challenged, and indeed ridiculed, more than in occupied Palestine.The systematic violence of human rights and crimes against humanity by the Zionist regime should immediately stop. The UN human rights mechanisms can hardly gain credence as long as Palestine remains occupied and the Israeli atrocities go on.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in its commitment to protect and promote human rights and strongly defends the rights of the great Iranian nation.
I thank you for your attention.