Open Letter to Deputy High Commissioner for UN Human Rights: Visit the graves of the executed political prisoners if you are visiting Iran!

Nada Al-Nashif, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, is scheduled to visit Iran in the first week of February, 2024. Given the severe human rights violations in Iran, 6rang Network and Iranian Queer Rights Organization Simorgh express deep concern about her visit and call for its cancellation. They have formally communicated their concerns by dispatching a letter to Ms. Al-Nashif.

Read the complete Letter below.

In light of your upcoming official visit to Iran in the first week of February 2024, we appeal to you to either cancel your visit, or consider taking tangible actions that demonstrate solidarity with the victims of the Islamic Republic’s crimes.

Your announced visit to Iran raises significant concerns, as it may be interpreted as endorsing the systemic discrimination, suppression, and torture inflicted upon human rights activists, political and civil figures, ethnic and religious minorities, as well as the LGBT+ community in Iran – individuals deprived of their fundamental rights .

Esteemed Deputy to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 

The Islamic Republic has denied secure entry to any members of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was mandated by the Human Rights Council on 24 November 2022 to investigate human rights violations related to the protests that began in Iran on 16 September 2022. The LGBT+ community has been subject to increasingly pervasive and severe forms of discrimination, pressure, and oppression, particularly during and after these protests, following the tragic killing of Jina (Mahsa) Amini and the Women, Life Freedom uprising in Iran. 

We are concerned that under the current circumstances, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran instrumentalizes your visit and formal engagements to undermine support for the UN Fact-Finding Mission which its mandate is due to be renewed in March 2024. Moreover, we are concerned that this visit lends legitimacy to a regime responsible for the execution of over 65 individuals only in the current month, including the very recent execution of four Kurdish individuals on 29 January, without any due process.  

Esteemed Deputy to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 

If cancelling your trip is not feasible, we urge you to take the following tangible actions that demonstrate solidarity with the victims of the Islamic Republic’s crimes, including the members of the LGBT+ community:

Visiting the graves of those who have been recently executed;

Engaging with female prisoners currently on hunger strikes to protest the recent wave of executions;

Meeting with the families of victims;

Visiting transgender prisoners in segregated facilities, unmonitored and independently;

Demanding accountability from the officials of the Islamic Republic regarding the plight of members of the LGBT+ community;

Meeting with those affected and tortured during recent protests, as detailed in 6Rang the “War on Bodies and Minds” report.

The systematic oppression of sexual and gender minorities in Iran by the Islamic Republic is a longstanding and deeply concerning issue as documented by various UN Human Rights mechanisms. 

According to the comprehensive study conducted by the 6rang Network titled “War on Bodies and Minds,” the actions of the security forces and judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic against LGBT+ protesters during the 2022 uprising qualify as crimes against humanity. Members of this community have become deliberate targets of crimes involving harassment and abuse based on their gender identity.

We urge you to take the necessary actions to ensure that your visit will not be instrumentalized to give legitimacy to these crimes. 

6rang (Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network)

Simorgh Iranian Queer Community 

January 31, 2024

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *