Ahmed Shaheed, former foreign minister of Maldives, Roberto Toscano, Former Ambassador of Italy to Iran and Amin Medani, Sudanese human rights attorney were voted to the final stage of candidacy for the position of special Rapporteur on Iran by the consulting group of the United Nation’s Human Right’s Council.
On March 24, United Nation’s Human rights Council in Geneva issued a resolution to select a special Rapporteur in order to monitor the situation of Human rights in Iran. On June 16 and 17, the Human Right’s Council will be electing one of these three men, who were shortlisted by the Consultative Group, as the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran.
The Consultative Group comprising of the representatives of Member States to the Human Rights Council were from India, Finland, Romania, Zambia, and Panama and processed the list of candidates during six sessions. From amongst that list the Group selected those who were compatible with the general necessities and specifications of the country in question, Iran. The six sessions took place with the presence of all representatives in the Consultative Group on April 20, 4, 5, 11, 20 and 23 of May, 2011.
Nasrin Mosaffa, Head of the Human Rights Center of Tehran University, and Hasan Ziaeifar, Head of the Islamic Human Rights Center are amongst the candidates, both nominated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also, Payam Akhavan, professor of Human rights at McGill University in Canada was amongst the candidates mentioned.
A major discussion of the resent days has been whether or not the Iranian Government would grant entry to the Special Rapporteur. Another major discussion, in order to prepare the Iranian government for accepting the Special Rapporteur, has been the desired specifications to be demonstrated by the candidate in order to eliminate any excuse by which the Iranian government would refuse cooperation. In effect, instead of discussion the necessary qualifications the Rapporteur must possess to defend human rights, bravery to search the Iranian prisons and visit with the victims of human rights violations, the discussion has turned into the ways in which Iranian government can be convince to allow the Rapporteur entry. From that perspective, it became adamant that the Rapporteur must be male, Muslim and non-western. Even still, in the final hours of discussion, Roberto Toscano of Italy was added to the mix.
Three candidates, representing three different governments, were announced today. All three candidates are male; two are from Muslim countries.
Ahmed Shaheed is a foreign policy advisor to the president of Maldives. He served as the Foreign Minister of Maldives from 2005 to 2007 and 2008 to 2010. He was one of the enforcers of ratifying 9 different international treaties and has made efforts to incorporate what was ratified into local laws.
Roberto Toscano presently researches on Iran at the Woodrow Wilson Center and has spent time as the Italian Ambassador to Iran and India. He completed his education in Pizza University and taught human rights at Lewis University of Rome.
Amin Medani is a human rights lawyer who is currently working as an attorney in a legal office in Khartoum. He is also the advisor for Iraqi and Afghan representative in the United Nations.
Since there was unanimous support for Ahmed Shaheed, it appears that he has more chance to take this special mandate.