UN official implies to assassination of Iranian scientist rights violation

November 28, 2020 - 19:55

TEHRAN – Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, has reacted to the assassination of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, implying that the killing of the scientist could be a violation of human rights.

“Murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist: many questions still as to the circumstances of his killing. No State or non-State actors have yet claimed responsibility. But to recall: An extraterritorial targeted killing, outside an armed conflict is a violation of international human rights law prohibiting the arbitrary deprivation of life and a violation of the UN Charter prohibiting the use of force extraterritorially in times of peace,” tweeted the UN Special Rapporteur.

Fakhrizadeh, 59, was killed on Friday in a terrorist attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in the Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

Iran has accused Israel of being behind the attack. President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement on Saturday that mercenaries of the Zionists were responsible for the killing of Fakhrizadeh.

“Once again, the evil hands of global arrogance and their Zionist mercenaries were stained with the blood of another Iranian, causing deep grief across the nation for losing a hard-working scientist,” the statement said.

On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif also pointed the finger at Israel, saying there were “serious indications” of an Israeli role in the Friday attack.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. Iran calls on int'l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror,” the Iranian chief diplomat said in a tweet.

EU calls assassination ‘criminal act’

The European Union also denounced the assassination of the scientist, calling it a “criminal act” that goes against human rights.

“On 27 November 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and several civilians were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for. The High Representative expresses his condolences to the family members of the individuals who were killed, while wishing a prompt recovery to any other individuals who may have been injured,” the spokesperson for the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement also called on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions in the region.

“In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever for all parties to remain calm and exercise maximum restraint in order to avoid escalation which cannot be in anyone’s interest,” the spokesperson said.

Turkey says assassination was ‘act of terrorism'

Turkish parliament head says assassination was act of terror, whether committed by illegal group or state
Turkey’s parliament speaker also said on Saturday that the assassination of top Iranian scientist was a terrorist act.

"The assassination of the Iranian scientist was an act of terrorism. Whether it was committed by an illegal or a 'legal' organization or a state makes no difference," Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter, according to  aa.com.tr.

"Terrorism is always terrorism, anyone who commits an act of terrorism is a terrorist," Sentop added.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh has drawn widespread criticism around the world, including in the United States.

John Brennan, the former CIA director, called the attack on Fakhrizadeh a “criminal act.”

“This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits,” said the former spymaster in a tweet.

He added, “I do not know whether a foreign government authorized or carried out the murder of Fakhrizadeh. Such an act of state-sponsored terrorism would be a flagrant violation of international law & encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials.”

Iran has vowed to respond to the attack but it also vowed not to fall in the trap of Israel.

SM/PA

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