Saudi UN delegate calls on Iran to halt human rights violations

Delegates attend the opening of the UN Human Rights Council’s main annual session on February 24, 2020 in Geneva. – The UN’s secretary general launched a “call to action” on Monday against rising attacks on human rights worldwide, highlighting the persecution of minorities and “alarming levels of femicide”. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA):  Saudi Arabia has called on Iran to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries and depriving people of their human rights.

During a meeting of the UN’s Human Rights Council on Tuesday in Geneva, Mohammed bin Essam Khashan, third secretary of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN, said that Iran’s preoccupation with supporting terrorist groups in Yemen and Lebanon deprives the Iranian people of their basic right to development, and people in those two countries of security and stability.

He urged Tehran to comply with the international treaties and covenants to which it has signed up, and to focus on the development of Iran and improving the lives its citizens.

Khashan said Saudi authorities are concerned about violations of the economic, social and cultural rights of minorities in Iran, and the treatment of Kurds, Al-Ahwazi Arabs and Azerbaijani Turks, communities that “are subjected to discrimination” in a number of ways that have “a great impact on their basic rights.”

He added: “Among the most basic (affected rights) are the right to education, the equitable distribution of national wealth and environmental protection.”

During a discussion of a report by the UN special rapporteur on Myanmar on the continuing persecution of the nation’s Muslim Rohingya minority, Khashan urged the Human Rights Council to step up its efforts to relieve their suffering and guarantee their rights. He added that the Kingdom supports and appreciates the UN’s efforts to protect the rights of the Rohingya minority, the latest example of which was the launch of the Joint Humanitarian Response Plan 2020.

The report by the special rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar confirmed that the Rohingya continue to face violence, forced labor, extortion and looting, in addition to restrictions on movement and limited access to food, work, health care and education.

In January, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to take urgent steps to protect its Rohingya population from genocide, a ruling welcomed by refugees as their first major legal victory since being forced from their homes.

Authorities in the Kingdom “welcomed the set of recommendations contained in the special rapporteur’s report, and encouraged the government of Myanmar to implement and fulfill its obligations to provide protection to the Rohingya.” They also urged the government to strictly comply with international humanitarian and human-rights law.

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