How to Use the Report of UN Human Rights Rapporteur

2020/07/21 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - A professor of international law said that the report of the UN Human Rights Rapporteur on the assassination of Quds Force Commander Sardar Qasem Soleimani, despite its weaknesses and shortcomings, contains positive points. These positions can provide the possibility of legal and international prosecution as a notable document in international courts and authorities, he added.

Dr Massoud Akhavanfard, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, stated that the report of the UN Human Rights Rapporteur on the assassination of Martyr Sardar Soleimani was published with a big delay: The text of the report on the assassination of the great martyr Qasem Soleimani, despite the weaknesses and shortcomings both in terms of structure and content that can be discussed and followed by the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United Nations, contains some positive points as well.

Emphasizing that the time delay is the first weakness of this report, he added: “If such a treatment had taken place against another country, the legal or judicial authority investigating this crime would have been transparent but unfortunately this is not the case here for various reasons. It is unclear whether the International Court of Justice should rule on the matter or the UN Human Rights Council.  It is also unknown what punishment would be considered for criminals who treat a senior army officer of another country in this manner.

Regarding the positive aspects of this report, the university professor said: “These positions can provide the possibility of legal and international prosecution as a notable document in international courts and authorities; but, naturally, due to the weaknesses and shortcomings mentioned above, we need to complete and fill in the gaps in order to substantially pursue the rights of the honourable people of Iran and the families of these great martyrs with other argument.”

Regarding the importance of this report in prosecuting and compensating for the assassination of Martyr Soleimani, the analyst stated: In order to use this report as a negotiating tool, it is necessary to remember that it is not logical to trust a country that has had dastardly and cowardly relations with Iran for more than forty years. But it certainly has the potential to be exposed.

He said that we should not seek a definite and positive answer in international legal issues, adding: Expecting answers from such international agencies, with the history and margins they have had, is a little far from reality; But at least we can test the effectiveness of these international organizations and test the truth.

The international law professor continued: “In the face of the bombastic claims they have made, we should see whether they can respond to international legal claims and some documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1969 Diplomatic Law Convention that explicitly stipulate support for and protection of citizens with diplomatic immunity? We can have a revealing and enlightening approach to international public opinion in this regard.”

Akhavanfard explained that in order to prosecute the criminal assassination of Sardar Soleimani and his martyred comrades who were from Iran and Iraq, lawsuits can be filed in domestic, regional and international authorities: As the judicial authorities announced, the public prosecutor has referred this responsibility to the Tehran prosecutor and the issue can be followed up, monitored and a verdict can be issued. Accordingly, this prosecution can become a verdict by the relevant judicial authorities, and this case can be pursued in countries that are parties to the agreement with Iran and accept the rulings mutually.

Noting that the issue can also be pursued through the Interpol against criminals like Trump who ordered the assassination, he said: “We must learn from this incident and move towards bilateral or multilateral pacts with countries like Iraq and Syria and maybe the countries of the Resistance Front.”

Regarding the international pursuit of this issue, Akhavanfard also said: “In the international arena, we are witnessing countries whose jurisdiction is extraterritorial, like the Belgian courts, where the issue can also be raised and prosecuted. At the global level, international organizations such as the United Nations and its executive arms, such as the International Court of Justice and organizations arising from the international infrastructure must also be considered.”

He emphasized that the US action was a clear violation of the 1966 Civil and Political Covenant and could be invoked, adding that it was a crime against humanity. Numerous conventions and protocols can be invoked in terms of human rights issues and humanitarian conventions; therefore, the international legal axis that we can pursue is not limited to one case, but the issue can be pursued at the regional and international level. Of course, in this regard, the coordination and synergy of the relevant authorities in the executive and judiciary is also necessary to pursue this issue.

Criticizing the United Nations dual approach as an international body, Akhavanfard said it would have been nice if the UN showed the sensitivities it showed about human rights issues in some countries about the human rights of black Americans who were subjected to the most brutal police and security crackdowns within their own country and was addressed as a human rights issue, but unfortunately we see that is not the case here.

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