On Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Council—a body where representatives of various tyrannies gather to condemn Israel—entertained the Iranian justice minister, Alireza Avaei, whose speech bemoaned the excessive influence wielded by Western countries over the United Nations. Avaei, who serves a regime that brutally oppresses its own people and engineers mass-slaughter abroad, has himself overseen the torture and execution of thousands. Sohrab Ahmari comments:
[A] report on the 1988 massacre of thousands of Iranian dissidents identifies Avaei as an “interrogator and torturer at a prison” in Dezful, in southern Iran. There, Avaei sat on the “death commissions” that carried out Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa ordering the regime to liquidate imprisoned leftists and members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).
Mohammad-Reza Ashooq had been caught in the dragnet and sent to Avaei’s prison merely because he sympathized ideologically with the MEK. As he later remembered, Avaei was one of three men present at his death commission. . . . Ashooq survived [a death sentence] by jumping out of the window of [a] minibus. But some 30,000 others didn’t, including children as young as thirteen.
Avaei’s career in torture and summary execution didn’t end there. Two decades later, as chief of justice in Tehran Province, he helped oversee the bloody crackdown against the pro-democracy Green Movement. This involved the operation of Kahrizak, a makeshift prison and interrogation camp where young dissidents were raped using batons and soda bottles. . . . Now Avaei can boast of having addressed the Human Rights Council, thanks to a bankrupt UN system that treats democracies and dictatorships as morally equivalent, entitled to an equal say in human-rights matters.
Years of U.S. “engagement” under the Obama and Trump administrations have failed to improve matters. More than a decade since the council’s founding, 25 of its 47 members are classified as unfree or partly free by Freedom House. These include such human-rights champions as China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Meanwhile, Israel remains the only state to be the subject of a permanent agenda item. . . . [T]he best thing Washington can do is to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council as it did earlier with UNESCO. Lending American legitimacy to this cruelly misnamed body sets back the noble cause of human rights.