The Week in Review: May 12th – May 19th

May 19 – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ali Bahreini, was appointed to chair the UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum, this week. The forum’s role is to look at the contributions science, technology, and innovations have made to the promotion of human rights.

The appointment led to an an outcry among human rights campaigners, following deadly crackdowns by Iranian officials on largely peaceful anti-government protesters, and ongoing concerns about the treatment of women and girls in the country, by UN experts.

Bahreini will take up the position in November, and will be responsible for leading the discussions at the forum.

Iran’s government executed three men, following their arrests for taking part in the anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Jina Mahsa Amini.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi were accused of killing three members of the Basij military unit, a charge they always denied.

The decision by Iran’s judiciary to sentence the men to death was called “a blatant act of vengeance,” by Amnesty International, which urged the international community to stop the executions.

And the UK Home Office announced that it would fast track asylum claims by Iranians seeking refuge in Britain.

The decision is part of a drive to clear a backlog of an estimated 90,000 applications, of which 20,000 were made by Iranian and Iraqi asylum seekers.

The move was welcomed by immigration lawyers, who also warned that problems would persist if challenges posed by the forms for asylum seekers were not addressed.

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