As Anne Bayefsky reports at National Review today, Iranian government officials have been walking round the U.N. Human Rights Council bullying Iranian dissidents. As Bayefsky states:
The president’s decision to join the U.N.’s top human-rights body in 2009, and more recently to seek a second three-year term on the Council, is one of the centerpieces of his “engagement” strategy. Neither the membership of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and Cuba on this human-rights agency, nor three years of incessant Israel-bashing, has deterred the administration from attempting to legitimize the Council. It is not surprising, therefore, that Iran is evidently not feeling the heat.
One of the Iranian clubs walking around the Council is Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, “Head of the prisons organization and rehabilitee and preventive programs” in Iran. He’s well-known as an illegal detainer for the Iranian governor and a cover-up artist for their abuses. He’s subject to an EU travel ban. Nonetheless, Iran apparently attempted to fly him in to participate in the Human Rights Council.
At that Council meeting, dissidents were pushed around by the Iranian diplomats, who accused the dissidents of taking pictures of them. The U.N. officials actually forced the dissidents to open their computers to demonstrate that they had not taken such pictures. Meanwhile, the U.N. is adopting a weak-tea resolution against Iranian human rights abuses calling for Iran to “cooperate” with the U.N. Bayefsky sums it up:
Under the Obama administration, American taxpayers are paying 22 percent of the costs of the U.N. “Human Rights” Council: the bulletins, the documents, the voting machines, the microphones, the global webcasts, the translations, the facilities, the salaries of U.N. officials, and on and on. Iran isn’t perverting human rights and freedoms all by itself.