The appointment of Iran's UN ambassador Ali Bahraini to the chair of the UN Human Rights Council 2023 Social Forum has sparked much anger and indignation. 

Vaclav Balek, president of the Human Rights Council, said in a statement Wednesday that he had decided to appoint Bahraini following the receipt of a nomination from regional coordinators. 

The forum to be held in Geneva on November 2 and 3 will focus on the contribution of science, technology, and innovation to the promotion of human rights including in the context of post-pandemic recovery. 

UN Watch launched a petition to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Wednesday to stop the Islamic Republic from chairing the forum and said there were still six months left to cancel the appointment.

The petition has so far been signed by more than 30,000. 

In a tweet Wednesday, UN Watch said they sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to condemn the appointment.

The letter by Vaclav Balek, the president of the Human Rights Council

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, called the appointment “shameful” in a series of tweets and said it is “an insult to the tens of thousands of victims beaten, brutalized, tortured, raped and murdered by this regime.” 

“Iran just hanged Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare for using social media to criticize religion,” he pointed out and criticized the US and its allies for not taking action to stop Iran from being elected to the UN Commission on Crime Prevention like they did in the case of Russia in January. 

A group of Iranians staged a rally in London Thursday to protest the regime’s executions. 

Neuer added that UN Watch will approach governments with a draft resolution for the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council to overrule the president's decision to appoint Bahraini if the petition gathers 100,000 signatures. 

Headquartered next to the UN human rights apparatus in Geneva, UN Watch is a nongovernmental organization that monitors the performance of the United Nations according to the yardstick of its charter and promotes human rights for all.

“Ali Bahraini is the representative of the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei. Khamenei stopped millions of covid vaccines from entering Iran which resulted in thousands of deaths. On his orders innocent protesters were shot and more than 500 people, 70 of whom were children, were killed [in recent protests]. This is the same regime that in recent days has executed one person every 6 hours and was condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday for its executions,” Iranian protester Vahid Beheshti who staged a hunger strike outside the UK foreign office for over two months and is now in hospital said in a tweet Wednesday

“How dare you to insult the people of Iran like this assuming they are ignorant?” he asked the UN Human Rights Council. 

The UN’s Third Committee, also known as the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee or C3, approved a draft resolution on Iran’s human rights situation on November 16 and expressed concern at the alarmingly high frequency of the death penalty in the country. The motion was ratified by a recorded vote of 80 in favor to 28 against, with 68 abstentions.

The Islamic Republic was also voted out in December from the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for policies contrary to the rights of women and girls. The resolution passed against Iran was drafted by the US due to the regime’s bloody crackdown on protests ignited by the death of a young woman in custody of hijab – or the so-called “morality” -- police.

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