And our parent organisation, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), has added its voice to the calls to keep Iran out.
“Iran has one of the worst human rights records on earth,” said Eggerickx, “yet it has had the audacity to announce its candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council. The international community must not let this happen. We are calling upon the world’s non-governmental organisations to join us in our appeal to keep Iran out.” IHEU has started a petition on its website (it’s for organisations only, so, if you represent one, sign it) and is seeking signatures from other organisations.
More than six decades after the United Nations proclaimed a set of universal human rights, respect for these fundamental freedoms remain “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
Yet, even within the organs of the United Nations, it has required constant vigilance and striving for these global standards to survive and strengthen. In 2005, then UN secretary general Kofi Annan called for the replacement of the UN Commission for Human Rights before it brought “the entire UN system into disrepute”.
In establishing the Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Commission, the UN General Assembly decided “that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Now, just four years later, the UN is being asked to elect one of the world’s worst human rights abusers to that very Human Rights Council.
The PTT’s secretary and veteran gay activist George Broadhead said today, “When the Human Rights Council was established, the UN General Assembly decided ‘that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’. Now, just four years later, the UN is being asked to elect one of the world’s worst human-rights abusers to that very Council.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the world’s most blatant violators of human rights. This alone should disqualify it from membership of the Human Rights Council, because the UN General Assembly required that ‘when electing members of the Council, member states shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto’.
“Iran has an appalling record of persecuting LGBT people, denying freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, and violently suppressing democratic voices.
“The punishment meted out to gays by this Islamic theocracy, which includes floggings and executions, are reminiscent of the Middle Ages. In 2005 Iran sparked international outrage when it publicly hanged two gay teenage boys Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni.
“It is quite intolerable that such a murderous homophobic state should be considered for membership of the UN’s Human Rights Council,” Broadhead concluded.