The human rights group UN Watch says it has submitted to the United Nations the draft text of a resolution to overturn Iran's appointment as the chair of the Social Forum of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The group said in a statement on May 31 that the text was contained in a UN Watch submission to the 53rd Session of the UNHRC, a Geneva-based body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the globe.
There is no stipulated procedure for canceling such an appointment, but the 47-nation UNHRC plenary can overrule any decision of the president if one of the council’s 47 member states sponsors the resolution, according to UN Watch.
“We thank the more than 75,000 people worldwide who have signed our petition to stop Iran’s regime from heading the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum in November,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “Our goal is to reach 100,000 before approaching world leaders for their support.”
Human rights advocates have expressed outrage over the appointment of Ali Bahreini, Iran’s UN ambassador, to serve as chairman of the forum, which is to focus on the contribution of science, technology, and innovation to promote human rights.
The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has said that such an appointment at a time when a fact-finding mission set up by UNHRC is investigating the killing of hundreds of peaceful protesters by the Islamic Republic “reflects a shocking ethical blindness.”
Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on months of nationwide protests sparked by the September death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody.
Security forces killed more than 520 people during demonstrations and unlawfully detained over 20,000 others, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.