House of Lords written question – answered at on 29 June 2009.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Spokesperson for the Home Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government in how many instances the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom did not receive a reply from the Government of Iran concerning allegations of human rights violations within her mandate, as documented in her most recent report to the United Nations Human Rights Council; what means are available to the Human Rights Council to persuade governments to give timely responses to matters submitted to them by the special procedures; and whether they will propose that a summary be published before meetings of the Human Rights Council of allegations to which there had been no response.

Photo of Lord Brett Lord Brett Government Whip, Government Whip

UN member states are not privy to correspondence between individual member states and the UN Human Rights Council's special procedures. However, in an addendum to her report to the 10th session of the Human Rights Council, the special rapporteur details her correspondence with Iran including where she has and has not received replies to her concerns raised on various cases. This addendum can be found on the Human Rights Council website at

The UK has a standing invitation to UN special procedures, strongly believes that countries must co-operate with them for them to be able to work effectively, and we encourage co-operation whenever we can. The council has no means beyond such encouragement to persuade governments to provide timely responses. As with the afore-mentioned addendum, points raised by special procedures are usually covered in their regular reports.

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