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Iran pushes ‘Islamic human rights’ excluding LGBT people

Kevin Schumacher, OutRight Action International’s program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, reports:

Kazem Gharibabadi (Photo courtesy of YouTube)
Kazem Gharibabadi, international deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

The Iranian government plans to host an international human rights conference in the city of Qom in August to discuss Islamic Human Rights principles, which will exclude LGBT rights and other issues  “that are based on Western cultural standards and lifestyle,” as well as issues that ” are not universally accepted.”

The announcement about the upcoming conference was made [June 29] by Mr. Kazem Gharibabadi, the International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary. During his comments, Mr. Gharibabadi’s was specifically critical of the inclusion of LGBT rights in various human rights treaties:

“Some countries refuse to acknowledge that the principles of human rights should be, at times, implemented based on the culture and dominant values of each country. For example, these countries consider homosexuality as a human rights issue, which is not accepted by Islamic countries. Those countries pressure others to follow their standards and seek the universality of human rights.

“Of course, we do not deny the universality of some aspects of human rights, but not everything that those countries want to promote should be considered as a human rights issue. Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal. We need to see if the prevailing culture of each country allows such issues to be seen as a human rights issue or not.”

Logo of Iran's High Council of Human Rights
Logo of Iran’s High Council of Human Rights

In his interview with the the official website of the Iranian Parliament, Mr. Gharibabadi clarified that Iran’s ongoing effort to promote the Islamo-centric human rights values is done through research, documentation, and facilitated discourse through a partnership with the Iranian Foreign Ministry. According to Mr. Gharibabadi, “The Council has commissioned several research and publication projects to various academic centers, and is expecting to launch one or two of these reports in multiple languages by March 2017.”

According to Mr. Gharibabadi, there are currently consultations with other Islamic countries underway on how to use Islamic Human Rights doctrines in interpreting and drafting international human rights documents, so that Islamic human rights principles can become universally acceptable.

For more information in Persian, read the full text of that story in Icana.ir.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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