UN human rights delegates overwhelmingly applaud Iran for its record
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UN human rights delegates overwhelmingly applaud Iran for its record

At periodic review of Iranian civil liberties, 85% of United Nations representatives lavish praise on Tehran; US says it ‘flagrantly violates’ its citizens’ freedoms

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivers a speech  at the opening day of UN Human Rights council session at the United Nations offices in Geneva on March 2, 2015. (AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI)
Illustrative: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivers a speech at the opening day of UN Human Rights council session at the United Nations offices in Geneva on March 2, 2015. (AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI)

Delegates to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday overwhelmingly praised Iran’s human rights performance at a periodic review of the Islamic Republic’s record.

Out of 111 countries present at the hearing, 95 of them, or 85 percent, praised Iran’s rights record.

Only 16 countries criticized Tehran, according to UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization.

The states that lavished praise on Iran included North Korea, Qatar, Belarus, Malaysia, Iraq and Oman.

“We commend the government’s commitment to promote and protect human rights, including ongoing efforts in improving education” and health, the Palestinian representative said.

“We highly commend the government of Iran for its dedicated efforts and its continuing progress in its promotion and protection of human rights for its people, particularly women, children and persons with disabilities, despite economic sanctions,” said the North Korean representative.

Daniel Kronenfeld of the US criticized Tehran, saying: “Iran has flagrantly violated its citizens’ human rights. We recommend that Iran: One, immediately release all Iranian prisoners of conscience,” including US citizens it holds in detention.

“Two, immediately end the use of torture and credibly investigate and prosecute all allegations of torture,” Kronenfeld said.

“Three, establish an independent judiciary, including significant reforms to the revolutionary courts,” he said.

Lastly, Kronenfeld called for Iran to abolish laws requiring women to wear hijabs in public and remove other restrictions on women.

The council’s Universal Periodic Reviews take place every five years and Iran was one of 14 countries under review during the most recent session held in Geneva, Switzerland. All 193 UN member states undergo the process.

The periodic review is meant to examine governments’ commitments to human rights and promote freedoms for their citizens.

Iran’s review was broadcast live in English and Farsi.

The review is based on documents provided by the state under review, and by other groups including independent human rights experts.

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