Those of us who follow the rapid development of the Iranian nuclear program are used to the Islamic Republic not playing ball with the international community. Once again, the regime’s true colors have been exposed– this time in the field of human rights.
It is no secret that the state of human rights in Iran is atrocious, among the worst in the world. From gays hanging in the central squares to stoning women; one would expect an independent UN human rights report on the matter to gain more media traction.
Last week, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special Rapporteur issued another of his humbling reports. You can see it here http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/news/press-statements/1000000201-dr-ahmed-shaheed-presents-report-on-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-to-third-committee-of-general-assembly-member-states-react.html,
His preliminary press conference here
Strangely enough, there were all too few headlines, reports or tweets directly relating to the conclusions and recommendations that were released last week by Dr. Shaheed.
Why don’t the media give this issue the coverage it deserves on a regular basis? It’s not that Iranian human rights violations are not covered, but more like a fleeting headline rather than a sustained focus.
This picture received new light over the weekend. The European Parliament’s weeks-long grappling with a planned delegation visit to Tehran finally served as a catalyst for greater coverage of the disastrous human rights situation in Iran.
This BBC piece being a shining example:
“A visit to Iran by a European Parliament delegation has been called off after Tehran refused to let them visit two jailed activists recently awarded an EU human rights prize.
Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi were named joint winners of the Sakharov prize on Friday.
The five EU politicians had been due to arrive on Saturday and wanted to present the award to the activists.”
The moral compass of these particular MEPS seemed to synchronize just in time. As the Global Policy Journal did, however, prophetically point out – a day before the cancellation – that despite the public uproar against this trip; it was indeed only this ‘stroke of luck’ which finally gave this delegation the ‘get out of jail (Iran trip) free card’.
“ Awarding the EU human rights prize for the first time to an Iranian, could become a gift for the representatives too: Because either will they have found a theme for their trip to powerfully advocate in their encounters in Iran; or the Iranian government will indignantly call the visits off, thus itself earning the blame.
“The lesson for the future, however, is that MPs as much as their parliaments need to better prepare their exercise of a free (foreign policy) mandate, especially in little democratised countries such as Iran. Because hoping for luck cannot replace a sound strategy.”
So hats off to the EP delegation for getting it right; eventually. It even received decent media coverage, to boot.