بیانیه های سازمان دفاع از قربانیان خشونت در اجلاس 34 شورای حقوق بشر

: #3319
تاریخ انتشار : دوشنبه, 8 خرداد 1396 13:27
تعداد بازدید کننده : 301
ارسال به دوستان
شما این مطلب را ارسال خواهید کرد:
بیانیه های سازمان دفاع از قربانیان خشونت در...
  • Reload بازآوری
بزرگ یا کوچک بودن حروف اهمیت ندارد
ارسال
بیانیه های سازمان دفاع از قربانیان خشونت در اجلاس 34 شورای حقوق بشر

بیانیه های کتبی سازمان دفاع از قربانیان خشونت به زبان انگلیسی می باشد. 

 

                                           Written statement* submitted by Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
                                     The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

                                                                                                                                            


Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Challenges of Sand Storms and Drinking Water in South of IranMore than 2 million annual deaths and billions of cases of diseases are attributed to pollution. Environmental calamites are humanitarian tragedies which are widely ignored all over the world. The various dimensions of these problems are getting more complicated in developing countries such as Iran.
According to UN General Assembly resolution 64/292 the right to water and sanitation is recognized as essential to realization of all human rights. Also, the right to breathe clean air is a fundamental human right for all people. UNEP acknowledges the importance of the right to environment referring to the international human rights law including Stockholm Declaration, and the Rio Declaration, stressing on the link between human rights and environmental protection:
“The environment …[is] a pre-requisite for the enjoyment of human rights (implying that human rights obligations of States should include the duty to ensure the level of environmental protection necessary to allow the full exercise of protected rights); Certain human rights, especially access to information, participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters… [are] essential to good environmental decision-making (implying that human rights must be implemented in order to ensure environmental protection) .”

There are numerous international documents emphasizing on the link between enjoyment of human rights and existence of a healthy environment. Human Rights Council in its resolution 7/23 of March 2008 and resolution 10/4 of March 2009 specifically focused on human rights and climate change. Additionally, the General Assembly Resolution 45/121 and ECOSOC Resolutions 1993/28 , 1994/15 , and 1995/27 unanimously emphasized that environment can have serious implications for human rights.

Khuzestan, one of the southern Provinces of Islamic Republic of Iran, is seriously suffering from air and water pollution at the moment. Air pollution has been a serious daily challenge for the people of the region. The dust particles and dust storms has caused various forms of health problems in the region. Limitation of access to safe and clean drinking water in some arias has been affecting the human rights of the people for years. Despite continues attempts of the state and NGOs for solving the problem, on the ground, the people are still struggling with negative consequences of the long term pollution. The whole Khuzestan area including the cities of Ahvaz, Soosangerd and Dezful have been overtaken by dust storms for years now. Officials has announced the initiation of new researches on the acers of dust-rising land and new attempts to stop the dust rising from the areas. But they have not resulted in tangible changes of the situation.

The condition of drinking water is no better. Horolazim and Shadegan wetlands are drying out and need restoration. By losing these water reservoirs, the situation will worsen. Karun, Karkheh and Jarrahi rivers, which are the most critical water resources of the province, contains high levels of toxic waste.

The industrial unites and the state should play higher role for improvement of the environmental situation in the Khuzestan province. The international human rights law holds the States and the private sector accountable for protection of environment. Accordingly, responding to environmental issues is considered as an obligation of the States and the civil society organizations.

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) acknowledges all government project funding and efforts including the initiative of hosting a regional meeting on combating sand and dust storms leading to the UN resolution A/71/463.

However, being concerned about the situation and living conditions of people in the south of Iran the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) calls on the government and the private sector in the region:

To monitor the full implementation of new water refineries in the province including in the main cities of Ahwaz, Abadan, and Dezful.

To support and ensure the full implementation of the projects that revitalize Horolazim and Shadegan wetlands.

To continue planting trees on dust rising lands of Iran-Iraq borders, in order to prevent occurrences of dust storms. To realize this aim, officials can use the potential capacity of millions of Arbaeen and Ashoora pilgrims, who travel from Iran to Iraq to perform religious ceremonies, as it was done in Nov. 2016 in a smaller scale .

To Carefully monitor and study the construction of any new dams on the rivers that are sources of water for Karun and Karkheh, avoiding creation of any reduction in the amount of water the two main rivers are receiving.

ODVV also calls on the local NGOs to fully engage with local authorities to find short term solutions to improve people’s access to safe drinking water while the long term water projects are being implemented.

ODVV encourages the NGOs to join the local authorities and run awareness raising campaigns on adequate water consumption and methods of dealing with sand storms and desertification.

 

 

Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Afghanistan and the Continued Human Sufferings for Enhanced ID on migrants

With the dawn of 2017, the world is still riddled with war and conflict, refugee crisis and terrorism. Extremism that has come as a result of wrong policies has escalated countless human crises. Today’s human crises do not solely originate in domestic political problems.

As one of the focal points of today’s global crises, Afghanistan is faced with complex human problems. Over the recent years and with the escalation of the Middle East crisis in Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan and its problems seem to have been forgotten, something that unfortunately will have dangerous repercussions for Mankind, in the event of being left unnoticed. The escalation of clashes and increase in terror attacks, particularly over the last year, has diminished hopes for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

With the re-strengthening of the Taliban in parts of Afghanistan over the last year, and the new waves of attacks against civilians and government forces, we are witnessing the strengthening of ISIS in parts of the country. With the weakening of its bases in Syria and Iraq, ISIS now is trying to find refuge in Afghanistan, and increases its activities on a daily basis. And in the event of an ISIS victory in the country, for certain we shall see days darker than Taliban control, for the people of Afghanistan. This human crisis has dangerous dimensions three important ones of which are: the expansion of the infiltration of ISIS and the Taliban, spreading of sectarian violence, worsening of the people’s income and economic situation, new wave of Afghan people’s displacement internally and asylum abroad, and escalation of violence against civilians, women and children in particular. These issues which are connected to each other, will cause the worsening of human crises in the future, if left unchecked.

With the passage of 16 years since the arrival of international forces in Afghanistan, the actions of ISIS and the Taliban have hampered any effort for the development of country. In 2015 the Afghan interior Ministry announced that over 7180 foreign nationals are fighting for extremist groups in the country. New groups associated to Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and more recently ISIS have started a new wave of violence gains the people of the country. The UN states that 70 percent of all the killings in Afghanistan are done by these extremist groups, groups that do not shy away from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, crimes such as planting mines and suicide attacks. The Afghan government is in control of only 63 percent of the country, and the rest is in the control of extremist groups.

From the beginning of 2015, Afghanistan saw the infiltration of ISIS within its borders and another crisis was added to the human crises of the country. With the establishment of a province in Afghanistan, ISIS is in pursuit of a regime even more terrifying than the Taliban and commit the same atrocities it commits in Iraq and Syria; a danger which if ignored will turn into another Syrian crisis for the world. ISIS operations in July 2016 and suicide attack on demonstrators in Kabul left 80 people dead. Another attack on a Shia Mosque in Kabul in November, left another 40 dead. In the eastern parts of Afghanistan villagers who put up resistance against ISIS and the Taliban are threatened, killed and their homes are destroyed and there is violence against their women and children.

The initial inability of ISIS to fight the central government, has drawn this terror group towards attacking the Hezareh and Shia minorities and the Taliban in the country. The Interior Ministry of the National Unity government deems the Shia and the Taliban as the first targets of ISIS in Afghanistan.

Afghan youths do not join militant groups because of Islamic ideology or having the beliefs of extremist groups, they join to make a living and escape poverty and hunger, and or fear for their and their families’ lives. In its less than a year presence in Afghanistan, ISIS makes its recruits from Taliban fighters. With large payment of money, ISIS is trying to get recruits from all across Afghanistan, but fortunately despite the bad job conditions of the country it has not managed to get the people to join. Nonetheless, with the increase in economic pressures on the people and failure in the provision of the basic needs in life, the probability of more poor people joining ISIS is increasing.

The power struggles between militant groups has hurt the economy and agriculture of the country. ISIS efforts to take territories away from the Taliban has been directed to poppy farms. Currently approximately 1 billion dollars is made from poppy plantations and opium trafficking each year by the Taliban, which can alter the war economy of Afghanistan.

The displacement and refugee crisis will be a direct result of such a situation. According to UNCHR figures, there are 3 million Afghan refugees around the world, and another one million are internally displaced. With the start of the reconstruction of the country there was hope that the wave of displacement and asylum seeking would reduce in Afghanistan, but sadly war, and the extremist groups getting stronger has increased the displacement problems in the country.

The internally displaced in Afghanistan are in worse conditions than Afghan refugees around the world. Lack of shelter, poverty, hunger, and diseases threaten the lives of thousands of people. The number of the displaced has tripled between the years 2014 and 2016, and six times more compared to 2012. Therefore according to UN estimates, in 2017 we shall see an increase of 450,000 internally displaced people.

Furthermore, the escalation of violence against women is the direct result of the conflict and insecurity in Afghanistan. Sixteen years since the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the culture of violence against women has taken root, and due to factors such as extremist mindsets and economic and cultural poverty, the violence continues. Despite the government and civil society institution’s efforts in Afghanistan, women and subsequently children suffer from numerous damages. Now with the escalation of ISIS attacks, concerns have increased on the escalation of violence in the country.
The interweaving of human sufferings with the presence of extremist militants in Afghanistan, makes finding solutions for peace and reduction of violence in the country difficult.

ODVV makes the following recommendations for improvement of situation in Afghanistan:
The fight against ISIS and the Taliban is the main solution for solving the human crisis in Afghanistan. We recommend the UN and neighbouring countries to adopt a comprehensive approach that includes cultural, political and economic dimensions, and make a new attempt to fight extremism in the region.

Now, the changing of the views towards migrants and refugees in political systems and public opinion is necessary. The treatment that we see refugees, foreigners, Muslims and migrants receive by some groups and governments in the world, is clearly the other side of the coin of extremism. Thus, for the purpose of special attention being paid to the issue, we recommend the UN Human Rights Council to hold an annual “Migration” Conference with the participation of the Special Rapporteurs on Internally Displaced Persons and Minority Issues, with the aim of focus on the social and economic dimensions of migration.

Investment in the economic development of Afghanistan is one of the crucial necessities for the reduction of tendencies towards extremism. Furthermore, the improvement of environment will reduce the damages of illegal economic activities. Thus we recommend the UNDP to launch a new programme for small and early jobs in the country to reduce poverty in the short run.

Refrences:
http://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Display/News.asps?NewsID=2008&LangID=E
https://www.amnesty.org
https://www.washingtonpost.com
http://www.irinnews.org
http://www.unhcr.org
https://www.unicef.org
https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/afghanistan
http://www.un.org/arabic/news
http://www.khaama.com/isis-still-posing-serious-threats-to-afghanistan-sedigi-02718

 

 

Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Environmental Crimes and Violation of Human RightsWar and the environment are two inseparable concepts. Today, no doubt remains that the destruction of the environment as the result of war, is a long-term threat to both the present and future generation. In addition to human casualties, including the death and injuries of soldiers and civilians, wars extensively destroy natural resources and the environment.

It is concerning that today, with the advancements and sophistication of military technologies and the use of unconventional weapons such as chemical weapons and cluster munitions, the destructive effects on environment have more extensive, in a way that the life and livelihood of people with low income have been affected. Destructions of the wildlife, destruction of biodiversity, poor air quality, contamination of earth and water, are some of the destructive effects of modern warfare, which today has the Middle East region and its people in a chokehold, and on countless occasions been pointed out in various reports. In the ongoing conflicts such as Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq and particularly Syria, military machinery and explosives have destroyed forests and habitats on an unprecedented scale, and caused serious damage to the natural ecosystem such as soil erosion, water pollution and production of low quality food products. Meanwhile, most dangerous of all are the auxiliary military equipment such as interference signals and waves which leave negative effects on people.

Following the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the Vietnam War, there are two other examples of war crimes committed against the environment with noticeable human rights consequences in Yemen and Syria. The natural environment of the two countries until did not suffer from much problem before the war. But today they are getting wasted away under aerial bombardments. Furthermore the water crisis has engulfed both countries and right now the defenceless people of both countries are suffering from water shortage and water pollution that are the consequences of the destruction of the environment from armed conflict.

Experts have repeatedly warned about the water shortage crisis in Yemen. Dr. Jean Lapegue, French anti-hunger organization ACF water expert, in an interview with TV5 Monde expressed concern over the poor access of Yemenis to water resources. This is while according to published reports by international organizations, including UNICEF, Yemen faced water shortage even before the start of the conflict, and today, this problem has even become more highlighted with the ongoing internal conflict.

Since early 2011, Syria too has been heavily involved in internal conflict and its consequences. As well as the human pain and suffering and economic catastrophe, we are witness to an endless calamity to the environment. According to a published report and information received from human rights and environmental activists in Syria, vast areas of the environment in the country have been destroyed and toxic materials used in weapons and the rubbles left behind and also piles of garbage have penetrated deep into the soil and contaminated the underground water reserves of the country.
The direct and indirect consequences of the war is visible from now, and it will take a long time, at least for the environment of the country, to repair itself to an extent.
Furthermore some of Syria’s oilfields are under the control of terror groups. By setting oil wells on fire or unprincipled exploitation of the oil, these groups have caused a disaster to occur in the region. Since traditionally people have worked in agriculture in this region, the smoke and toxic emissions from oil, will subsequently destroy any chances of the soil in the region to be used for agriculture and will make it difficult for the locals to earn a living. This catastrophe is a clear example of environmental issues which smell of war crimes. Let us ask ourselves, who will be accountable for all of this?

The extent of the damage to the ancient city of Nimrod in Iraq and the proximity of Mosul is such that UNESCO called this destruction by ISIS, war crimes. This historic ancient city which is known as the jewel of Assyrian civilisation, was founded in the 13th Century BC on the banks of the Tigris. Nonetheless, according to Iraqi officials, by demolishing and destroying 3000 year old walls and statues, ISIS have destroyed this ancient city. This destruction of Mankind’s heritage has caused deep concern of archaeologists, and they compare this crime with the crime of the 2001 destruction of the statue of Buddha in Bamian, Afghanistan by The Taliban, which caused international outrage.

According to published figures, in the 21st Climate Change Conference, the conflict in Ukraine has caused contamination of the soil and water in the country, to an extent where the Ukrainian president, Petro Porochenko presented a report of this environmental catastrophe to the Conference, and called for the international community’s help.

Recommendations
Considering that the right to a healthy environment is one of the certain rights of Mankind, and not only this right is stated in the third generation of human rights, but also is the necessity for enjoyment of other rights such as civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Also, according to the first article of the Stockholm Declaration, “Man is both creature and moulder of his environment, which gives him physical sustenance and affords him the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, man has acquired the power to transform his environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale. Both aspects of man's environment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights the right to life itself.”
The Organization for Defending Victims of Violence and the Chiko Environment Institute, on behalf of a number of environmental and human rights activists and experts, call upon the United Nations to utmost at its disposal to confront the current ongoing wars and conflicts, and not to allow the warmongering policies of warmongers and arms dealers to destroy the whole planet, for they have to be accountable to future generations. Because it can clearly be seen that it is not just the financial and human investments of a country that are destroyed in wars, but natural and unnatural resources are threatened even beyond borders for future generations.

Furthermore, we call upon the Human Rights Council to open a more serious case file for environmental issues, alongside human rights issues to show more sensitivity towards prevention of the destruction of the environment particularly during war.
We call upon the international community not to see the current ongoing wars as regional issues, because the effects of environmental damages reach beyond borders, and the human rights consequences will affect future generations. Right now some of these destructions are closely felt.
We also call upon the UN and Member States to consider important environmental issues, and to deem ecocide as important as genocide, because the environmental crimes in modern warfare cause such human rights crimes that the destructive effects cannot be calculated. In this regard it is good that we remember the nightmarish examples such as the Hiroshima atomic bomb and the Vietnam War, the effects of which are still being studied by scientists.

We, environmental protection and human rights activists regret that even though the dangerous role of the ecological destructions are at least clear for world leaders and international organizations, nevertheless the environmental principles and guidelines are not enforceable enough. This is a grave human rights concern and challenge, which has been overshadowed by other problems. Therefore it is necessary to unconditionally prosecute environmental crimes, and consider the right to have a healthy environment as an important right.

 

 

Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Crimes against Humanity Committed by Myanmar Security Forces

We note the investigations of the team sent by the High Commissionaire for Human Rights to the borders of Bangladesh to access the situation of Myanmar Rohingya minorities. The systematic extensive, cruel and heinous nature of the crimes as well as the magnitude of the atrocity is reflected in the horrible findings of the team based on 204 single interviews.

The detailed finding that indicate the “Mass gang rapes, killings including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar security forces.” The atrocities amount to crimes against humanity according to the Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Court has the jurisdiction to “prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes”.

The widespread crimes have taken place while the world has ignored the early warnings of an occurrence of a genocide by Myanmar civil society group on first of December 2016. The group witnessed early signs of a large scale crime on the ground. Being troubled by the fact that the “systematic violations” of human rights in Myanmar is overlooked by the world and especially by the “western powers”, the group called the International community to immediate action in order to prevent a genocide in the conflicted region .

In addition, in the HRC regular sessions within the past years, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) has frequently raised concerns about the situation of Rohingya minorities in Myanmar, attracting the world’s attention to the necessity of elimination of the long term violence against minorities in the country.

Unfortunately, the cries for help received no effective answers and the deteriorating situation has continued to take toll on the people’s life and health.

On 8th February 2017, while the UN has considered the atrocities as crimes against humanity, Pope Francis also criticized Myanmar leadership for its inhuman policies toward the Muslim minorities including the torture and killings of the people who would only “want to live their culture and their Muslim faith. ”

This is while the press briefing of the UN team detailed the heinousness of the nature and magnitude of the crimes on Feb, 3, 2017.
Deeply troubled by the fact that time is running out for Justice in Myanmar, our organization echoes the High Commissioner Zeid’s voice and calls on the international community, to join the High Commissionaire in putting pressure on Myanmar government to stop the cruel military operations .
We call on the ICC to start investigation and prosecution of all the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity in Myanmar, because the process will certainly make the criminals reconsider their future crimes.

We call on all civil society members to urge all member states to join the United Nations in finding and implementing effective intervention methods to put the crimes into an end.

We call on all NGOs interested in defending Myanmar victims to run awareness raising online campaigns to inform the Myanmar leadership of the strong possibility of being tried in court for committing crimes against humanity so as to help them think twice before making any future decisions on their choice of policy against Rohingya minorities.

We call on the Security Council, as a peace keeping tool, to utilize its punitive measures such as sanctions to discourage Myanmar government from continuation of the crimes.

We urge the Security Council to take serious action before there is a chance for the commitment of more crimes and established an international tribunal the same as the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Rwanda Tribunal to hunt down and punish the perpetrators of Myanmar crimes against humanity.

 

 


Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Written Statement to the Special Rapporteur on the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ms. Asma Jahangir

ODVV has an experience of over two decades of effective activities on protection and promotion of human rights, presence in international conferences and effective communication with preventive, supportive, judicial, and legislative sectors of the Islamic Republic of Iran, aiming at improvement of human rights in the country. ODVV would like to bring some points to the attention of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, Ms. Asma Jahangir:

Comprehensive understanding of human rights in Iran is the first step in setting the priorities of the Special Rapporteur. In the previous reports of the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, the human rights issues have been categorized in a diverse classification. Based on these categories, it is clear that a large volume of Iran’s human rights issues are linked with poverty, economic problems and development issues.

Lack of suitable distribution of social services, and limitation of job opportunities undermines the economic structure of the country, and particularly in deprived marginalized regions of the country cause many social damages such as turning to the drugs trade and trafficking and increase the feeling of proportionate deprivation among the low income and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, social damages bring about serious long term negative effects targeting social and family institutions. Also the need for further development in political and administrative spheres are hit by social, legal and political complexities, the reformation of which requires long term planning. The political and administrative structure of Iran government needs further development in the legal and judicial institutions and correction of legal vacuums.

To all of this, environmental issues and concerns must be added.
Finding solutions for the said issues must be a part of the mission of all those who are the concerned about promotion of the human rights situation. Iranian NGOs are the main civil actors for the improvement and promotion of human rights in the country. NGOs active in Iran have a realistic understanding of the situation on the ground. They have hands on experiences of solutions for internal reforms so managed to pursue their civil demands using the most suitable and practical methods.

Weakness of constructive interaction between special rapporteurs and the Islamic Republic of Iran has been one of the main obstacles in the way of the work of previous special rapporteurs, resulting in the recent special rapporteurs’ not having the opportunity to visit Iran, benefiting from the reports and comments of the civil society and human rights defenders in the country. Reciprocal interaction with NGOs and activists in Iran, particularly before the possible visit of the Special Rapporteur, will provide her with a better opportunity to have access to more realistic reports and evidences of Iranian society. Therefore, in the event of an effective use of this sector of the Iranian civil society, the new Special Rapporteur will be able to have a more realistic and practical view for promotion of human rights in Iran.

We believe that discovering cases of human rights violations are as important as using suitable methods for resolving the problems, and building confidence which result in the improvement of the attitude of the parties, leading to improvement of human rights situation in the country. The mentality of policy setters in Iran, towards the Special Rapporteur have mostly been one of mistrust and concern. The dominant assumption of the decision making circles and the public with regards to the Special Rapporteur’s mandate is that it is created more based on the interests and political decisions of countries in tense relations with Iran rather than the real human rights situation in the country. Therefore, the treatment and approach of the Human Rights Council towards Iran is a form of double standard compared to other countries of the region and the world.

Imposition of sanctions of the last three decades have increased the existing atmosphere of mistrust inside the country. Most of the sanctions have had terrible effects on the basic rights of Iranians, particularly in the economic, social and cultural rights, and the right to development. Currently, in spite of the nuclear agreement, most of the sanctions are still in place because of America’s failure to properly follow the agreement so the negative human rights effects continue.

Although the existence of such attitudes can make interaction difficult but nonetheless we believe that this interaction is not impossible. We believe that if the Special Rapporteur pays attention to these important points during her mandate, most of Iran’s positions, approaches and sensitivities will be understandable to her, and there will be more chance of understanding, common language, agreement and improvement of the human rights situation in Iran. The successful nuclear deal and negotiations of Iran with the world showed that mutual respect, real understanding of the conditions in the country, and the approach of “efforts to resolve issues instead of confrontation” can pave the way to remove mistrust, improve human rights and provide space for further effective engagement of civil society. Contrarily, mutual non-cooperation will neither realize the mandate of the Special Rapporteur of Iran nor have a positive effect on the improvement of human rights in the country.

Our long experiences of activities in Iran, the Human Rights Council, interaction with three UN Special Rapporteurs on Iran, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Phol, Maurice Copithorn and Ahmed Shaheed, and witnessing effective approaches and achievements taught us that the Rapporteurs with a problem solving approach - instead of the approach of solely listing violation claims to Iran government - have seen more cooperation and flexibility of various Iranian government officials, and ultimately their mandates have better met the main objective of promotion of human rights in Iran. Our three decades of activities in the Iranian society has shown us that the realization of the greatest human rights objectives is possible through graciousness and recognition of suitable methods for Iran. Success is possible based on this recognition.
As an NGO active in reduction of violence and empowerment of civil society in Iran, ODVV suggests three priorities to be placed in the Special Rapporteur’s agenda, under the present conditions:

1 – Constructive and continued communication with the High Council for Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, and NGOs based and active in Iran to receive reports on improvement of human rights, and act upon the recommendations accepted by Iran. Also, a follow up is suggested on promises given by Iran and encouragement for their speedy realization, including the promise to revise capital punishment for drugs trafficking related crimes or establishing a national human rights organization. To this aim, attention to the concerns of Iran policy setters and offering recommendations for practical solutions for the challenges can be very useful. For example the criminal policies of Iran are not effective enough so that the removal of capital punishment for drugs traffickers, will not increase the high profit trade, easier access to drugs and escalate drugs related problems.

2 – Raising public awareness of damages resulted by all forms of violence can be another priority that will close the path to social harms. To fight discrimination against women, it would be good to note that most women are victims of various forms abuse. The request for changes in laws, continual and serious monitoring of their application by the government can notably help the improvement of women’s situation. Various abuses rooted in social and cultural factors, in our belief are not only against the domestic laws, but also contradict Islamic teachings. Extensive education is needed to reduce violence and promote a non-violent culture.

3 – Studies and reports of the Human Rights Council in the recent years has shown that extensive economic sanctions against countries, only target the people and their right to development. In view of the irreversible repercussions of previous anti-human rights sanctions, and America’s new efforts , it is suggested that the Special Rapporteur concentrate on the issue in her reports to the Council or the General Assembly, and in cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on Unilateral Coercive Measures, inform the international audiences of the inhuman consequences of sanctions and to prevent their continuation and or re-imposition.

It seems that attention to a constructive interaction approach and the recommended priorities which have been raised in this statement can set a more suitable basis for the advancement of human rights objectives and improvement of the human rights situation in Iran.

With regards to action towards constructive interaction approach and also the realization of the aforementioned priorities, the ODVV has considered numerous policies, programs and actions and implemented them, and wishes to declare its readiness for constructive interaction with the Council, the Special Rapporteur on Iran and all Council mechanisms also its readiness to implement possible projects in this regard. We and other NGOs and civil society activists in Iran do our utmost to realize all human rights objectives and make a brighter future.

 


Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine StateInteractive Dialogue with the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Ms. Yanghee Lee

We express serious worries on the UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee’s lack of access to Myanmar's northern Rakhine State. We echo her grave concerns over the escalation of violence in Myanmar and the fact that the government’s denial of the extensive violence will only question the credibility of the leadership.

We note the investigations of the team sent by the High Commissionaire for Human Rights to the borders of Bangladesh to access the situation of Myanmar Rohingya minorities. The systematic extensive, cruel and heinous nature of the crimes as well as the magnitude of the atrocity is reflected in the horrible findings of the team based on 204 single interviews.

The detailed finding that indicate the “Mass gang rapes, killings including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar security forces.” The atrocities amount to crimes against humanity according to the Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Court has the jurisdiction to “prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes”.

The widespread crimes have taken place while the world has ignored the early warnings of an occurrence of a genocide by Myanmar civil society group on first of December 2016. The group witnessed early signs of a large scale crime on the ground. Being troubled by the fact that the “systematic violations” of human rights in Myanmar is overlooked by the world and especially by the “western powers”, the group called the International community to immediate action in order to prevent a genocide in the conflicted region .

In addition, in the HRC regular sessions within the past years, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) has frequently raised concerns about the situation of Rohingya minorities in Myanmar, attracting the world’s attention to the necessity of elimination of the long term violence against minorities in the country.

Unfortunately, the cries for help received no effective answers and the deteriorating situation has continued to take toll on the people’s life and health.

On 8th February 2017, while the UN has considered the atrocities as crimes against humanity, Pope Francis also criticized Myanmar leadership for its inhuman policies toward the Muslim minorities including the torture and killings of the people who would only “want to live their culture and their Muslim faith. ”
This is while the press briefing of the UN team detailed the heinousness of the nature and magnitude of the crimes on Feb, 3, 2017.

Deeply troubled by the fact that time is running out for Justice in Myanmar, our organization echoes the High Commissioner Zeid’s voice and calls on the international community, to join the High Commissionaire in putting pressure on Myanmar government to stop the cruel military operations .

We call on the ICC to start investigation and prosecution of all the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity in Myanmar, because the process will certainly make the criminals reconsider their future crimes.

We call on all civil society members to urge all member states to join the United Nations in finding and implementing effective intervention methods to put the crimes into an end.

We call on all NGOs interested in defending Myanmar victims to run awareness raising online campaigns to inform the Myanmar leadership of the strong possibility of being tried in court for committing crimes against humanity so as to help them think twice before making any future decisions on their choice of policy against Rohingya minorities.

We call on the Security Council, as a peace keeping tool, to utilize its punitive measures such as sanctions to discourage Myanmar government from continuation of the crimes.

We urge the Security Council to take serious action before there is a chance for the commitment of more crimes and established an international tribunal the same as the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Rwanda Tribunal to hunt down and punish the perpetrators of Myanmar crimes against humanity.

 

Agenda item 9
Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

Donald Trump and Islamophobia

Islamophobia is not a hidden phenomenon anymore; it has turned into a common feature of contemporary political discourse. It is “an exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life”. However, the phobia is partly fuelled by the media coverage of the statements made by political figures. Famous characters can influence the mind-set of their fans and followers, exacerbating xenophobic feelings that can be reflected in violent behaviour.
In a very recent example, the new president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has used repeatedly the Isamophobic rhetoric in his remarks and for advocating policies that target Muslim Americans. However, Trump’s anti-Muslim policies are proven to be supported by 25 percent of Americans .
There is also evidence indicating that Trumps viewpoints on Muslims are associated with recurring cases of harassment against Muslims in the country. Within one week after the elections, the Council on American-Islamic Relations recorded more than 100 incidents of Muslims harassments . Such circumstances made Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to establish a special police unit to address the increase in hate crimes across the state .
Trump has never appeared to have any policy for preventing violence against millions of American Muslims. His only answer to the repeated questions of worried Muslims about his plans on how to deal with hate crimes is that they need to report cases of crime. The new president, who feels free to associate “Islam” with “terrorism” doesn’t seem to be specifically bothered about protection of millions of American Muslim minorities. In many occasions his speech has triggered hate against Muslims to a point that he has earned fame as the islamophobic president. His executive order that ban Muslim from travelling to the United States, which was also condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, clearly reflects his strong bias against Muslims .

Xenophobic remarks are proven to be an important root cause of crimes against Muslims. The results of a recent study released by California State University-San Bernardino’s Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism indicate that political rhetoric can trigger hate crimes. The study shows that Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks could have contributed to a backlash against American Muslims. Using the official data of twenty US states and drawing on numerous studies conducted on the feeling of hatred toward Muslims, the study suggests the widespread Islamophobia across the country .
Hate speech and xenophobic expressions have been frequently referred to as sources of serious concern by the UN experts, especially the UN Special Rapporteur on “Minority Rights” , the Special Rapporteur on “Freedom of Religion and Belief” , Special Rapporteur on “Contemporary Forms of Racism” , UN Special Rapporteur on “Human Rights of Migrants” and Special Rapporteur on “Freedom of Opinion and Expression” . The experts consider expression of hate as a major root cause of various forms of violence and crimes. Moreover, the UN has been striving toward combatting xenophobic language in the media and fostering inclusive integration of minorities in societies. Ban Ki Moon has warned that negative remarks against migrants are reaching levels of frequency and public acceptance . Also, in a high-level event on combating anti-Muslim discrimination, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly criticized expressions of Islamophobia, encouraging the world to follow “the principles of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding to recognize the value of diversity.”
Studies show that hate expression can be harmful to societies in various ways. A Pyramid of Hate is introduced by researchers of the field that illustrates the outcomes of discriminatory remarks expressed towards a vulnerable group. According to the Pyramid, the consequences of hate speech can vary from a “personal bias” toward a specific group; “acts of prejudice” such as bulling and name calling; discrimination against a social group; acts of targeted violence against them and finally “genocide” . Atrocity crimes are the extreme forms of violence that do not frequently occur, however, discriminatory rhetoric of political leaders can lead to marginalization of targeted groups and a social divide within the population marked by scattered cases of violent acts toward minorities.
Encouragement of mutual trust and protecting minority rights promotes social integrity, a feeling of social inclusion, and social belonging as compared to marginalization of vulnerable groups. It is regretful to see the top political figure of the most powerful country of the world has chosen a rhetoric contrary to that of the United Nations standards and values, while the shapers of public opinion must be more committed to encouraging equality, countering stereotypes and promoting solidarity.
Recommendations:
Our organization echoes the UN High Commissionaire’s remarks against Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the US from some Muslim-majority countries, since it is “mean-spirited” and violates international human rights law .
Our organization calls on the Human Rights Council to study the best practices of countering politicians’ hate speech which is setting a new precedent in official violation of UN standards.
Our organization calls on the Special Procedures to create a database and record all cases of Islamophobia and the relationship between “politicians’ hateful remarks” and “escalation of hate crimes against minorities”.
We call on all member states to sanction the use of hateful remarks by political figures who shape public opinion and trigger hate crimes.

“ بیانیه های سازمان دفاع از قربانیان خشونت در اجلاس 34 شورای حقوق بشر ”