|GENEVA, March 14, 2019 — In a tweet that has gone viral worldwide, UN Watch exposed the UN’s absurd election this week of the Islamic Republic of Iran to a UN women’s rights committee that judges complaints alleging violations of women’s rights.
The appointment of Iran’s misogynistic regime, which tortures women’s rights defenders and arrests women who fail to comply with its forced headscarf law, was gaveled by Ireland’s Geraldine Byrne Nason, Chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which oversees the committee. (See video of the election here.) Ireland also came under heavy criticism from members of its parliament in 2017 for reportedly voting to elect Saudi Arabia to the 45-member commission.
None of the commission’s members objected to the appointment, allowing Iran to win a position on the 5-nation Working Group on Comminications without a vote.
“This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.
As noted by UN Watch’s tweet—which was echoed today by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—the UN decision came a day after the regime sentenced prominent women’s rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotudeh was arrested in June after she defended women who were arrested for removing their headscarves, which are required by law in Iran.
“Iran’s fundamentalist regime systematically discriminates against women in law and in practice,” said Neuer.
“Why did the UN cynically choose one of the world’s leading oppressors of women to be a global judge on violations of women’s rights?”
“Today the UN let down millions of female victims worldwide who look to the world body for protection,” said Neuer.
In Iran’s new position on the UN working group, the theocratic government of Ayatallah Khamenei will consider complaints and government responses to allegations of discriminatory practices against women in categories including forced disappearances, death and torture of women in custody, and violation of the rights of women human rights defenders to freedom of expression and assembly.
According to the UN, as a working group member, Iran will be responsible for identifying “trends and patterns of reliably-attested injustice and discriminatory practices against women.”
The working group submits a report to the full commission, in a procedure that is entirely confidential to avoid embarassing accused governments.