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Page added on November 30, 2011

Shaheed sidesteps Iran’s visa block with European tour

Shaheed sidesteps Iran’s visa block with European tour thumbnail

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, will meet with Iranian activists living in France, Germany and Belgium this week to investigate alleged human rights abuses. Iran’s Majlis blocked Shaheed from entering the country upon his appointment as special rapporteur in June, arguing that the US, Britain and Zionist regimes should be investigated instead.

“A visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran would have allowed me to gain better understanding of the situation,” Shaheed said in a statement.

In July, the secretary general of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights dismissed “the western-engineered appointment” of Dr Shaheed as Special Rapporteur as “an illegal measure,” according to the Tehran Times.

“Iran has no problem with the individual who has been appointed as the special rapporteur, but the appointment of a rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran is unacceptable and Iran will not accept the decision,” Mohammad Javad Larijani was quoted as saying.

Undeterred by Iran’s rejection, Shaheed said he will overcome the obstacle by studying “a wide range of human rights issues by meeting activists within the Iranian diaspora, alleged victims of human rights violations, intergovernmental and civil society organisations.”

Speaking to Minivan News in July, Shaheed said it was common practice for country-specific special rapporteurs to have difficulty getting into their target country.

“Often the country itself feels unfairly singled out for scrutiny, or that they don’t have a problem,” he said. “This is always a challenge, but by and large they come around in the end. The last time a Special Rapporteur was in Iran was in 1996. Countries eventually come round, but it takes time.”

The tour will last from November 30 to December 8.

Dr Shaheed formerly served the Maldives as Foreign Minister under both the current and former Presidents. He assumed duties as special rapporteur in August this year.

Though unable to enter Iran, in September of this year he filed an interim report for the UN claiming “systemic violations of fundamental human rights” as understood by first-hand testimonies.

In his report, Shaheed provided evidence that the Iranian government had secretly executed hundreds of prisoners at the notorious Vakilabad prison in Mashhad. These and other executions were allegedly done without the knowledge or presence of family and lawyers.

Shaheed also noted that human rights defenders, civil society organisations and religious actors had been charged with offences including acting against national security, insulting the Supreme Leader and “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

Reports of detained media personnel and human rights violations in prisons have leaked to the press in the past several months. On November 21, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (GA) adopted a resolution calling for the Iranian government to reconcile listed violations.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, Iran’s highest human rights official, had spent the previous week defending Iran’s record.

Following his tour of inquiry Shaheed will report back to the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

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8 Comments on "Shaheed sidesteps Iran’s visa block with European tour"

  1. Michael Fahmy on Wed, 30th Nov 2011 5:29 PM 

    We need Dr Shaheed in his native country, the Maldives. Why is he working for or against Iran?

  2. Ben Plewright on Wed, 30th Nov 2011 7:28 PM 

    Dr. Shaheed condemned the flogging of Women on his blog site a few years ago. Yet I never read how he backed up his opinion on this issue with an explanation of his understanding of how to read, understand, contextualise and apply Qur’an and Sunnah. Right now please offer us this as it is so important right now

    Michael Fahmy is right.

  3. tsk tsk on Wed, 30th Nov 2011 10:49 PM 

    Sidestep? I guess you can call it that.

    IF Shaheed has condemned us to experiencing violence in order for his own personal gain then we will all rue the day we allowed this man to outsmart us.

    Our government is made weak by the fools we allow our elected leaders to place in it. Look at the Parliament, every Ali Waheed, every Alhan, every Mahloof, every Baarashu Shifaz, every Kubey we condone drives us further into oblivion.

  4. adeem on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 1:49 AM 

    @Michael Fahmy

    Because he was told by our parliament that they have no confidence in him.

  5. Hameed on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 2:39 AM 

    Dr Shaheed is appointed by US Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Robert Blake to conduct a witch hunt on Iran. He will write any report to satisfy the West. After all they pay him to do so. When he was Foreign Minister of Maldives he was advocating to issue Maldivian diplomatic passports to Iranian officials.

  6. djmajeed on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 10:56 AM 

    Dr Shaheed is on an international assignment because the parliament of crooks in Maldives forced him to resign his job in the government. We do need him to come back and lend his support to the campaign against Islamic fascism. He is such a champion of human rights that he is working for the UN without any pay! Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts are not paid.

  7. Ben Plewright on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 1:12 PM 

    Oh sorry, to clarify, I meant my above statement in this context: Dr. Shaheed is an Islamic scholar who has an alternative understanding to the lieralists who control the Islamic Ministry and dominate the religious landscape. He has a progressive approach on how to understand, apply the Wahi (Revelation) given by Jibriel to the Prophet (SAW) and we need some humane scholars to help us have a more humane approach to how to understand the Rulings. He offered his condemnation of flogging Zinni’s, and for that I really respect him, Thankyou Dr. Shaheed. I undersood it was his opinion as an Islamic scholar based on his pogressive understanding of how to read Qur’an, Sunnah etc (how to contextualise it and apply it in its correct spirit.) So we desparately need to understand how he understands the Qur’an, please Dr. Shaheed, please enlighten us with your different, more humane approach to reading, understanding, applying Islamic text, your nation’s humanity needs your enlihtenement at this time.

  8. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 8:59 PM 

    What a silly man!

    Perhaps he will learn something from Iran, whose social policies are admirable and should be imported into our country post-haste. Indeed, – under our own system of Veleyat-a-faqih, our religious scholars would be a final bulwark against the storm of decadent modernist thought!

    But alas, we would rather remain a nation of fornicators that erects idols, and invites satan worshippers such as Pilally, who does not even have the decency to cover her head, to speak inside of our parliament.


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