UN appoints Pakistan's Javaid Rehman at top slot

UN appoints Pakistan's Javaid Rehman at top slot

WASHINGTON: The United Nations has appointed Javaid Rehman, a British-Pakistani legal scholar, as UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran.

Mr Rehman succeeds Asma Jahangir who passed away in February at age 66. Mr Rehman’s appointment was announced on Saturday during the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The UN special rapporteur can hold office for six years at most. Tehran has always rejected reports of the rapporteurs on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran as biased, politically motivated and invalid.

Iran claims that UN rapporteurs mostly use sources opposed to the Islamic republic system for their reports on the situation in the country.

In 1984, the UNHRC appointed Andrés Aguilar of Venezuela as its first special representative to Iran. Tehran refused to engage with him and he eventually resigned, saying he was doing so because he was “unable to persuade Iranian officials to cooperate with him in any way”.

In May, the UNHRC issued a list of three candidates ­— Javaid Rehman of Pakistan, Miloon Kothari of India and Antonio Stango of Italy — and eventually selected Mr Rehamn.

Mr Rehman is professor of international human rights law and Muslim constitutionalism at Brunel University in London.

He has advised international human rights bodies, tribunals and courts on human rights issues, including the prohibition of torture, counterterrorism and minority rights.

As a human rights advocate, Mr Rehman has engaged with a range of stakeholders at the United Nations, the Council of Europe,

the Organisation of Islamic Coopera­tion and the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation.

He has also advised non-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and in Pakistan on substantive legal issues as well as on implementation mechanisms, appeal procedures and advocacy campaigns.