Alena Douhan, UN's Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights. FILE

Alena Douhan, UN's Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights

Controversial UN Rapporteur Calls For Unfreezing Iran Assets

5/19/2022

A UN Special Rapporteur on sanctions has called on countries to unblock Iran's "$120 billion assets" frozen in foreign banks, so Tehran can fulfill its human rights obligations.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, made the remarks during a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday.

“I urge the states that have frozen the assets of Iranian Central Bank to immediately unfreeze Iran’s funds based on international law”, she said, adding, “I call on the sanctioning states, particularly the US, to abandon the unilateral sanctions”.

Douhan claimed that decades of sanctions have wholly affected Iranian people’s lives and have particularly hit the low-income section of the society.

Several human rights advocacy groups have protested her visit to assess the impact of sanctions on Iran, calling it Tehran’s attempt to divert attention from its human rights violations.

Iran has not allowed visits to any of the fourteen UN human rights experts who have made requests to monitor the situation in Iran, including to the special rapporteurs appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

The role of the sanctions’ rapporteur was created at the UN Human Rights Council by the adoption of a resolution proposed by Iran on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement in 2014.

Since her appointment in March 2020, Douhan has mainly campaigned against the United States and its allies’ sanctions policy. She is a professor in Belarus, one of the biggest human rights violators, but is not on record criticizing massive crackdowns in her home country.

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