UNHRC votes to extend mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has extended the mandate of Dr Ahmed Shaheed as UN Special Rapporteur on Iran.

Shaheed, who also held the post of Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs, was voted in with 26 votes in favour, 2 votes against and 17 abstentions during a UNHRC session in Geneva, Switzerland.

Shaheed has been previously refused access into Iran by Iranian authorities in order to investigate the country’s human rights situation, after the government accused him of accepting bribes from the United States.

Dr Shaheed presented his most recent report to the council on March 2013. Despite not being allowed into Iran, the Special Rapporteur has conducted 409 interviews “with primary sources located inside and outside the country.”

According to the report, 169 interviews were between September and December 2012 for the March 2013 report.

The report highlights “continued and widespread systemic and systematic violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Moreover, a lack of government investigation and redress generally fosters a culture of impunity, further weakening the impact of the human rights instruments Iran has ratified.”


Evnoy for science meets science society

Maldives Envoy for Science and Technology Ahmed Shafeeq Ibrahim Moosa yesterday met with President of the Maldives Science Society (MSS) Mohamed Ijaz and Secretary General Amal Shaheed.

Moosa said it was important to have small scale grassroots movements to achieving important outcomes for the development of the nation.

The MSS could contribute to the government’s plans to make the Maldives the first carbon neutral country in the world, he suggested, and urged the organisation to work to make the public more aware of green technologies and environmentally friendly ways of living.

The two parties also discussed ways of providing government support and assistance for the MSS’s activities.