Many Countries Support a Special Mechanism on Iran, Says Director of Democracy Coalition Project

Mar 18, 20110 comments

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Dokhi Fassihian, executive director of the Democracy Coalition Project, said many countries have reached the conclusion that there is an urgent need for a UN special mechanism to monitor and report on the human rights situation. She also said that the Secretary General’s recent report is a strong report which indicates the United Nation’s serious attention to this matter. The Democracy Coalition Project is a non-governmental organization dedicated to monitoring and evaluating the performance of the UN Human Rights Council. Fassihian said that it is possible that some diplomats of the Iranian Foreign Ministry may not have tried very hard to stop the resolution against Iran, due to their dissatisfaction about the current state of affairs. The Democracy Coalition Project, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, annually publishes reports evaluating the Human Rights Council’s performance vis a vis different countries in the area of human rights violations.  This non-governmental organization is used as a resource for reviewing the Human Rights Council’s performance and its strengths and weaknesses. Over the past two years, the organization has engaged in extensive activities to inform different countries about the widespread violations of human rights in Iran. Fassihian has been engaged in a spectrum of activities in the area of dialogue and education of diplomats who are members of the Human Rights Council. “I believe the resolution that will be discussed next week is a result of the enormous effort of Iranian and international human rights organizations who have tried hard to alert member countries of the UN Human Rights Council that a special mechanism is needed, whereby the appointed individual would solely concentrate on monitoring Iran and what is happening in the country,” said Fassihian. Fassihian also talked about the possibility that some diplomats of the Iranian Foreign Ministry may actually welcome the resolution.  “We saw that Iranian diplomats have been resigning from their positions over the past two years, and some of them have spoken out about the many people inside the Foreign Ministry who are unhappy with Iran’s situation.  We can see that no success stories are awaiting the Iranian government in order to prevent this resolution.  One might say that this is because the Foreign Ministry and many of its staff are dissatisfied themselves and they wouldn’t mind seeing the United Nations concentrate more on the situation of human rights in Iran,” she told the Campaign. The special mechanism is currently in place for countries with grave human rights conditions, such as North Korea, Burma, and Sudan. “We don’t know exactly how hard Iran tried, but there is a lot of support for this resolution inside the Human Rights Council.  We expected Iran to try harder to prevent this from happening, but it seems they were unsuccessful.  Maybe it is because many countries in the world are clearly observing what is happening inside Iran, and they have therefore decided to support this special mechanism, regardless of what the Iranian government says.  Additionally, Iran’s international relations is getting weaker and weaker.  The Iranian government has not been able to establish friendly relations with different countries.  Therefore, I don’t see that Iran would be supported at meetings like this.  In fact Iran does not have too many friends at the United Nations,” the Executive Director of the Democracy Coalition Project said about the Iranian government’s efforts to prevent the resolution. “The Secretary General’s report is very important, because this is the first time that the Secretary General is addressing the issue of Iran’s human rights situation at the Council in Geneva.  This report was much stronger than the previous reports, and it emphasizes that there must be more concentration on the subject of human rights in Iran,” Fassihian added about the significance of the UN Secretary General’s recent report. “I think that is because of the efforts of human rights organizations and through the efforts of Iranians, the world has realized what the situation of human rights is in the country, even though it took a long time to get to this point.  Since 2009 when the situation of human rights entered a critical stage in Iran, there have been widespread efforts on the part of human rights organizations and prominent Iranians who were in constant touch with Iran’s daily situation and the violations of human rights.  Many countries were warned that the situation is reaching a worse stage everyday.  Based on my observations, the position of different countries is that they believe that the people of Iran need this resolution, and it’s not like this resolution is an attack against the Iranian government.  Many countries feel that there is no other choice, as the Iranian government does not allow UN representatives to enter Iran, and it is no longer possible to convince the Iranian government through dialogue to end this situation.  Therefore, they have decided to appoint such an individual,” Fassihian concluded.