UN Human Rights Council 43: Universal Periodic Review Adoption of Iran

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Madam President,

The United Kingdom welcomes Iran’s engagement with the UPR. However, we are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Iran and Iran’s continued refusal to allow the Special Rapporteur access to the country. In November last year, we saw the most deadly crackdown against its citizens for decades, while persecution and discrimination towards religious minorities continues unabated.

We welcome the temporary release of several thousand detainees following the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and together with France and Germany, we have pledged support to UN agencies to assist Iran in combating the outbreak. However, we share the Special Rapporteur’s concern about detainees, especially dual nationals – we urge Iran to release them on humanitarian grounds and ensure they are afforded suitable healthcare.

The UK encourages Iran to engage fully with the UN and the international community on their accepted recommendations, and implement them fully.

We regret Iran did not support any of the UK’s three recommendations, which were to: demonstrate detainees are not tortured or subject to cruel or inhumane treatment or punishment; allow an impartial trial process, so defendants and lawyers have access to charges and evidence; and investigate sexual exploitation of children and develop a protection plan.

Nevertheless, we remain open to discussing these recommendations with Iran.

Thank you.

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