By Iran Probe Staff
Thursday, 1 March 2018
As Alireza Avaei, Iran's Minister of Justice addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran gathered outside the UN in Geneva to show their abhorrence at his presence in the UN human rights body and also some diplomats left the meeting in protest to Avaei’s speech.
Alireza Avaei addressed the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in spite of Swiss and EU sanctions imposed on him over rights violations and numerous protests by some international figures as well as Iraninan opposition.
“Before Avaei took the floor, a handful of diplomats left the room in a discrete protest against his presence”, according to AFP. “But even before he spoke, his mere presence spurred up to 150 demonstrators to gather outside the UN's European headquarters, waving flags used by exiled Iranian opposition groups and signs reading "Arrest Avaei”
Standing near a large pyramid of shoes meant to represent the thousands killed in a 1988 massacre of political prisoners, demonstrator Safora Mohammadi, a 35-year-old law student, insisted Avaei was "a killer".
The US Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a press release said, “The Human Rights Council should be ashamed to allow Mr. Avaei to address its membership".
The US mission in Geneva also issued a statement on Thursday, 27 February, in which it said," Avaei oversaw the summary executions of Iranians in the late 1980’s and as the recent head of the Tehran judiciary and current Minister of Justice, Avaei oversees systematic arbitrary arrests and detentions of Iranians engaging in peaceful political and civic activism, and imprisons them in a network of facilities notorious for suspicious deaths, the use of torture, and denial of medical care."