Students Staff

27 June 2014

Campus close-up on BBC Persian

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 4:14 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Essex-based UN Special Rapporteur Dr Ahmed Shaheed has appeared on BBC Persian talking about the challenges of his mandate.

Dr Shaheed, a Visiting Professor at our Human Rights Centre responsible for reporting on the human rights situation in Iran, explained how he conducts his research without access to the country.

Filmed largely at our Colchester Campus, the interview shows how Dr Shaheed conducts the judicial and legal research for his report preparations at Essex where there is an expert community of international lawyers.

Speaking during the interview, Dr Shaheed explains: “Non-cooperation by countries is not a new subject, North Korea also doesn’t allow any rapporteurs to enter. Iran also doesn’t have a shining reputation in this area. Since 2005, no rapporteurs have been allowed into the country…so I never expected open arms.”

Watch the interview, with subtitles, on YouTube.

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20 March 2014

Human rights in Iran remains a “serious concern”

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:57 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran

Despite acknowledging some progress, Essex-based UN Special Rapporteur Professor Ahmed Shaheed has said that the human rights situation in Iran “remains of serious concern” in his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Speaking in Geneva earlier this week, Professor Shaheed from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, once again called for an “immediate moratorium” on the death penalty, highlighted press restrictions, and called for the release of all political prisoners. He also raised concerns that Iran’s draft Charter of Citizens’ Rights is unacceptably vague, with too many “overly-broad caveats.”

In his sixth report since accepting the Iran mandate, Professor Shaheed once again focused on the use of the death penalty in cases that do not qualify as the “most serious” crimes. He drew specific attention to the cases of cultural activists Hashem Shabani and Hadi Rashedi and former child bride Farzaneh Moradi.

Speaking about freedom of the press, Professor Shaheed highlighted the forced shut down of publications Bahar and Aseman following the publication of commentary on theological questions. Professor Shaheed said this indicates “that the Government will not even tolerate discussion within the confines of the state religion.”

Professor Shaheed also called for the release of all political prisoners and spoke about the “chilling effect” of the harsh sentencing of student activists.

Watch Professor Shaheed’s presentation online.

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10 January 2014

Essex’s lead role in new global think tank

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:52 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Visiting Professor in our School of Law

Essex human rights experts have played a key role in the foundation and organisation of a new Geneva-based independent think tank dedicated to analysing and strengthening global human rights policy.

The Universal Rights Group is the world’s first independent think tank dedicated exclusively to human rights. It will provide scientifically-sound research, analysis and advice as well as a forum for discussion.

Several of Essex’s world-renowned human rights practitioners play key roles in the organisation of the Group. Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, and a member of our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees which will help develop the work of the Group.

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, and Professor Paul Hunt, both also of Law and the Human Rights Centre, are members of the Board of Trustees while Scott Sheeran is a member of the Advisory Committee.

The URG will officially be launched at an event in Geneva on 20 January and its first policy reports are due to be published in February.

 

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25 October 2013

Iran UN Special Rapporteur presents report in New York

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 9:37 am
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Visiting Professor in our School of Law

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, from our School of Law, has reaffirmed his desire to visit Iran during the presentation of his latest report on human rights in the country to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

His report, published in his role as UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, has revealed that freedom of speech and access to information in Iran remain seriously restricted, the rate of executions continues to be high, and the rights of women and certain minority groups do not meet international standards.

In presenting his report, Dr Shaheed said: “A domestic programme of reform, and any renewed or revitalized dialogue between Iran and the international community, must include and not seek to sideline the issue of human rights.”

In his closing statement he said: “Iran has itself accepted the necessity of a number of key reforms during its Universal Periodic Review and during its reviews by the UN Treaty Bodies. It is now vitally important for the future welfare of the Iranian people that the new government sets-forth to advance a bold policy programme designed to realize these public commitments and legal obligations.”

Find out more about the report’s findings or read it in full.

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