UK to UN: Appoint a special investigator for Iran

22 foreign ministers expected to take floor to call for establishing special rapporteur on Iranian human rights abuses.

February 28, 2011 17:14
2 minute read.
William Hague

William Hague (R) 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)


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The United Kingdom on Monday called on the United Nations to appoint a special investigator on human right abuses in Iran.

"The UK will support a resolution on the human rights situation on Iran, which would establish a special rapporteur," the United Kingdom's Foreign Minister William Hague said as he addressed the opening of the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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Some 22 foreign ministers are expected to take the floor on Monday. The speakers have harshly condemned human rights violations in Libya and have also spoken on the need to prevent abuses and to democratic uprisings else where in the region and the world.

Speaking of human rights abusers in general, Hague said, "stay your hand, there will be a day of reckoning."

He added that, "the reach of international justice is long."

The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that the international community must heed the call of those across the Middle East who were rising up and demanding their rights.

The violence in Libya "shocks our consciousness" and "should spring us into action," she said.

Ashton welcomed the sanctions the Security Council imposed Saturday against Libya and its leaders.

The EU will ensure its "swift implementation" and is working on its own "restrictive measures," she said.

"We can and must salute the courage of the people in the region, but we can and must do more," Ashton said. "We have to offer our full support to do what the people in the region ask us to do, from a position of humility knowing that our own histories are full of dark pages and that our own path to democracy was not linear and not easy," she said.

People's rights are at risk in Iran, Belarus and the Congo. "The EU is also deeply concerned with the situation in the Middle East including the occupied territories. We are working hard to reach our aim of a negotiated solution," she said.

But Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that those countries that had refused to condemn Israel human rights violations had contributed to similar abuses in other Middle Eastern countries because such silence had emboldened the perpetrators.

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