Protecting refugees is a human rights principle, Iran writes to UNHCR

November 24, 2021 - 17:16

TEHRAN – The communications and constitution implementation department of the Vice Presidency for Legal Affairs in a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees called for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees in accordance with human rights obligations.

The letter reads as follows:

The current state of the world and the many crises such as Corona, famine, natural disasters, and wars are endangering human life more than ever. In the meantime, the crisis of "asylum" and "immigration" has been a constant and often unanswered issue of states. What has hurt the feelings of the world today and has caught the eyes of all "asylum seekers" is the displacement and confusion of thousands of asylum seekers in the border region of Belarus and Poland.

It is unfortunate that to date, human rights officials and activists of this area in various fields have not been able to find its solution. Being in the cold season and the lack of minimum accommodation facilities and the lack of any material and spiritual support has caused this issue to become a human catastrophe.

Unfortunately, we see the negligence and sometimes ill-considered statements of EU officials in this regard. Following the publication of remarks by Julien Odoul, spokesman for the French National Rally party and a member of France's far-right party, on asylum seekers and displaced refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border, it is necessary to remind EU officials of the principles of human rights and the rules of law adopted by the United Nations:

For more than two centuries, French Republicans have called France the "center of human rights in the world," but prevented the admission of asylum seekers and the inhumane statements made by French officials about the status of asylum seekers and their indifference to human rights principles which is incompatible with Universal human rights and Islamic human rights as well, is another sign of this neglect. It is expected that EU officials shall condemn any action and words that are contrary to the protection of the initial rights of human beings and that assume their specified responsibility as well as plan and take effective measures to resolve this issue. Meantime, French Government may fulfill its effective role by taking a peaceful approach and putting its human rights two hundred years of pioneer claim into action.

According to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, every human being is entitled to migrate and asylum and the right to asylum is a human right and in accordance with the Convention on Refugees (1951), The Parties are bound to apply the rules of the Convention without discrimination to asylum seekers. Article 3 of the Convention provides for: "The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention without discrimination on the basis of race, religion or nationality in respect of refugees." In fact, the French Government and its officials, referring to the "dangerousness" of these people to Europe, once again violate human rights, with discriminatory behavior and the use of force and through military and law enforcement forces to prevent these people from seeking asylum in states of refuge. According to the above-mentioned convention, the mainland of refugees cannot be a basis for discrimination and non-acceptance, and on the other hand, the use of the word "dangerous" for Europe includes the basic discrimination and a sign of superiority complex of some European states.

The right to life is an inherent and fundamental human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In the last two weeks, the number of victims of this situation has reached more than ten people, and the negligence of the French authorities on the right to life and the right to asylum of these people will lead to the death of many more asylum seekers due to cold, hunger and other reasons. The least duty of states and authorities regarding these asylum seekers is to protect their "right to life". Housing and protecting them from the cold and hunger is the minimum human rights protection that these states should provide, but unfortunately the European authorities, by defining the borders of the European Union, have no human protection plan for these people.

Undoubtedly, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees must address this issue and the behavior of European authorities regarding asylum seekers and the rights of refugees and displaced persons, to prevent the occurrence of such a tragic event and prevent the death of hundreds of people. The principles of human rights are dramatically and symbolically emphasized by European authorities; while in the policies and behavior of these officials, the basic principles of human rights, which are also emphasized in Islamic human rights, are repeatedly ignored. Islamic human rights have taken a more complete look at the international human rights instruments on the refugee rights situation and the issue of asylum, and have made the reception of refugees "obligatory".

Accordingly, ignoring the rights of refugees is reprehensible and obscene. Article 12 of the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, 1990, Cairo, explicitly states that: "Every human being has the right, in accordance with the Shari'a, to move and choose a place of residence inside or outside his country, and if he is oppressed, he can seek refuge in another country." And it is obligatory for "the country of asylum to be patient with him until a shelter is provided for him... " Therefore, paying attention to the rights of refugees in Islamic countries is considered a legal obligation, and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has also repeatedly proved its practical concern for Afghan and other immigrants.

Finally, with regard to the rules and principles of human rights, it is necessary to pursue the necessary legal action against the situation of asylum seekers and refugees at the borders who are involved in the political games of European governments, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees should support the basic principles of human rights to address the situation of asylum seekers and refugees stranded at the border.

The silence and indifference of the international communities and organizations that are claimants to defend human rights to the situation of asylum seekers on the border between Belarus and Poland could seriously call into question the independence of these bodies and structures and provide grounds for further international distrust.

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