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UN EXPERT TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN IRAN THROUGH DIASPORA IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

10 July 2013

GENEVA (10 July 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, will undertake a fact-finding mission to the United States of America and Canada, from 14 to 28 July 2013, to gather information about alleged human rights violations in Iran.

During his 14-day mission, the independent expert will meet with members of the Iranian diaspora, particularly victims and witnesses of alleged human rights violations, as well as with civil society organizations, to gather information about the numerous allegations of human rights violations in Iran.  The result of these findings will be reflected in Mr. Shaheed’s report to the General Assembly in October 2013.

Mr. Shaheed reiterated his commitment to a constructive dialogue and cooperation as a means of addressing and resolving human rights concerns in the country, and encouraged Iranian authorities to cooperate with his mandate and the UN human rights machinery.

The Special Rapporteur expressed hope that there will be new opportunities for dialogue with the new administration of President-elect Hasan Rohani, and reiterated his continued interest to visit Iran.
 
Since his appointment in August 2011, the human rights expert has made several official requests to the Government of Iran for a country visit without obtaining an affirmative response.

At the end of his visit, on Friday 26 July, the UN Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference in Toronto. Further details will follow.

Check the latest report on Iran by the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A-HRC-22-56_en.pdf

ENDS

Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives) is a Visiting Lecturer at the Maldives National University, a member of the presidential Commission Investigating Corruption and a former foreign policy advisor to the President of the Maldives. Mr Shaheed was Foreign Minister of the Maldives from 2005 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2010. He led the country’s efforts to sign and ratify all nine international human rights Conventions and to implement them in law and practice. He was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.

OHCHR Country Page – Iran: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/IRIndex.aspx

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact Naveed Ahmed (+41 79 444 5260 / +41 22 928 94 77 / nahmed@ohchr.org) or write to sr-iran@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR13/188E