Human Rights,  Iran

Iranian juxtaposition

Without comment, here are two items that appeared one after the other in a “Selected Headlines” news summary at the Tehran Bureau website:

Suntanned women to be arrested under Islamic dress code

Telegraph | April 27, 2010

Brigadier Hossien Sajedinia, Tehran’s police chief, said a national crackdown on opposition sympathisers would be extended to women who have been deemed to be violating the spirit of Islamic laws. He said: “The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehaviour by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values. In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins.

“We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them.”

Iran Drops Bid for Human Rights Council Seat, Eyes Women’s Rights Body Instead

CNS News | April 27, 2010

Iran has confirmed it will no longer run for a seat on the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council. Instead, it aims to become a member of an international women’s rights body.

Iran’s bid to win one of four HRC seats earmarked for Asia had drawn strong opposition from rights campaigners already critical of the presence of countries with poor rights records — including China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia — on the 47-member body.

Iran’s withdrawal means that the remaining candidates for the four Asia seats — Qatar, Malaysia, Thailand and the Maldives — are all but assured of success when the full 192-member U.N. General Assembly on May 13 elects 14 HRC members.

Iran made the decision to end its candidature after discussions with other members of the U.N.’s Asia group, Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Sunday.

Hinting at a quid pro quo, he said that Iran would instead be a candidate for an international women’s rights body — “and all Asian countries will support our membership.”

It was not immediately clear which body he meant. Iran’s ILNA news agency quoted Mehmanparast as saying the “Women’s Human Rights Council” while IRNA quoted him as saying the “International Commission for Protection of Women’s Rights.”