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Sanctions' Impacts in Iran Reviewed, In Eritrea Ignored by Keetharuth

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 24 -- This is the tale of two special rapporteurs on human rights of the UN system, on two countries under sanctions: Iran and Eritrea.

  Iran rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed of the Maldives devotes what he Thursday called the longest section of his report to the impact of sanctions. Inner City Press asked him about financial restrictions making it difficult to import medicine, even to transfer funds to charities working after earthquakes. Video here from Minute 12:29.

  Shaheed acknowledged that the banning of Iran from the SWIFT payments system has had an impact. Other sources tell Inner City Press there are law firms preparing reseach on just this issue.

  On the other hand the UN's rapporteur on Eritrea, Shelia Keetharuth of Mauritius, has produced a 21-page report which mentions the word "sanctions" only once, there calling it a "targeted" sanctions regime.

  Inner City Press asked Keetharuth why the impact of sanctions was not included in her report, and what she thought the impacts were. Video here, from Minute 11:07.

  She replied that she has only the mandate since November 1, 2012 -- that is, in seven days, for an entire year. No time?

  The question arises: does the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights not give rapporteurs any training?

  Recently Inner City Press obtained and exclusively published an internal OHCHR plan to take over the "rule of law" functions of the rest of the UN system, and the staffing of the Special Representatives on Children and Armed Conflict, Sexual Violence and Conflict, R2P and the Prevention of Genocide.

Not does OHCHR not tell its rapporteurs what is expected to be covered in a report? Watch this site.


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