Ahmad Shaheed

The United Nations has appointed Ahmad Shaheed, the former foreign minister of Maldives, as special rapporteur on human rights for Iran.

In March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for such an appointment.

The resolution, a joint proposal by the U.S. and Sweden, was approved 22-7 with 14 abstentions. Britain France and Brazil supported the proposal while Russia and China rejected it.

In recent months, the UN General Assembly, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN Secretary General have expressed grave concern over the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on opposition figures and its increased use of death penalties.

The Special Human Rights Rapporteur is charged with closely reviewing and reporting on human rights issues in Iran; he will try to travel to Iran in order to meet with state and independent bodies to evaluate the veracity of the existing reports.

This is the first time that the rapporteur on Iran is Muslim. Prior to this, Reynaldo Galindo Pohl of Venezuela and Canadian Maurice Copithorne have reported on human rights conditions in Iran.