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UN expert to investigate alleged rights violations in Iran through diaspora in the Netherlands, Germany and France

GENEVA (13 December 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, started today a fact-finding mission to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, to gather information about the past and present experiences of victims of reported human rights violations in Iran.

During his nine-day visit (13-22 December), the independent expert will meet with and interview members of the Iranian diaspora, including student activists, university professors, lawyers, authors, publishers, former political prisoners and proponents of minority, women’s and LGBT rights, as well as with European research and governmental organizations.

Mr. Shaheed’s findings on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran will be brought to the attention of the government of Iran and to the members of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014.

The Special Rapporteur restated his commitment to constructive dialogue and cooperation as a means of addressing and resolving human rights concerns in Iran. He encouraged Iranian authorities to cooperate with his mandate and the UN human rights machinery.

“I hope there will be new and continued opportunities for dialogue with the administration of President Hasan Rohani, and reiterate my interest to visit Iran,” the human rights expert said.

Since his appointment in August 2011, the Special Rapporteur has made several official requests to the Government of Iran for a country visit, and is still awaiting an affirmative response.

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://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Naveed Ahmed (+41 79 444 4844 / nahmed@ohchr.org) or write to sr-iran@ohchr.org

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