The Special Rapporteur has denounced, condemned, and vehemently denied the news item. “I am appalled by this fabricated and malicious news story which is clearly aimed at compromising my integrity and independence, both of which are recognized internationally,” said Ms. Jahangir. She continued, “Anyone who has a substantive disagreement with a Special Rapporteur’s assessment can always express their doubts. However, it is unacceptable for mandate holders to be subjected to defamation campaigns when discharging their duties, which are established by the United Nations Human Rights Council.” 

The campaigns of vilification will not put her on the defensive, nor compromise her independence in reporting the challenges faced by Iranians with regard to their rights, dignity and freedoms, the Special Rapporteur said. “These accusations unfortunately reinforce the assessment I made in my first report to the UN Human Rights Council about the climate of fear which exists in Iran, where similar methods are used to silence those expressing dissenting opinions,” she added.

In September 2016, Ms. Jahangir who resides in Pakistan, was designated as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Human Rights Council. Ms. Jahangir was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, as well as Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She is recognized both nationally and internationally for her contribution to the cause of human rights, and is the recipient of major human rights awards. She had done extensive work for women’s rights, protection of religious minorities, and for the elimination of bonded labour. She is a former Special Rapporteur on summary executions, and on freedom of religion.

The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council is the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, and the Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of Special Procedures. It is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms, and addresses both country specific situations and thematic issues all across the world. Special Procedures’ experts are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They work on a voluntary basis. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.