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U.N. Human Rights Chief Condemns Iran Violence « The Washington Independent

Here’s an example of what Hadi Ghaemi’s talking about. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, has released a statement condemning the Iranian regime’ suppression of the opposition movement:

Pillay expressed particular concern about reported acts of violence by members of the Basij militia, which may also be in contravention of international and Iranian national law. “I strongly urge the authorities to ensure that official and semi-official forces act strictly in accordance with the law,” she said. “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that militia members and regular law enforcement agencies do not resort to illegal acts of violence. If they are perceived to be acting outside the law, it could provoke a serious deterioration in the security situation, which would be a great tragedy and is in nobody’s interests.”

This is Pillay’s first statement on the Iran violence, and I think that makes it the most thorough U.N. statement thus far, at least since Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Monday statement that the regime needed to respect popular will as it reviews the June 12 election returns. Pillay also explicitly “commended the largely peaceful and dignified conduct of the huge demonstrations that have been taking place in the Iranian capital, Teheran.”

According to a piece Ghaemi put up at The Huffington Post on Wednesday, statements from U.N. officials are the best way to show support for the Iranian opposition without undermining it:

Iran must be told that its further reliance on violence, curtailment of civil liberties and basic freedoms, widespread arbitrary detentions and disappearances will not earn it public peace or international legitimacy. That message should be delivered by United Nations officials, particularly the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

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