UN official implies to assassination of Iranian scientist rights violation

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, has reacted to the assassination of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, implying that the killing of the scientist could be a violation of human rights.

“Murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist: many questions still as to the circumstances of his killing. No State or non-State actors have yet claimed responsibility. But to recall: An extraterritorial targeted killing, outside an armed conflict is a violation of international human rights law prohibiting the arbitrary deprivation of life and a violation of the UN Charter prohibiting the use of force extraterritorially in times of peace,” tweeted the UN Special Rapporteur.

Fakhrizadeh, 59, was killed on Friday in a terrorist attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in the Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

EU calls assassination ‘criminal act’

The European Union also denounced the assassination of the scientist, calling it a “criminal act” that goes against human rights.

“On 27 November 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and several civilians were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for. The High Representative expresses his condolences to the family members of the individuals who were killed, while wishing a prompt recovery to any other individuals who may have been injured,” the spokesperson for the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement also called on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions in the region.

“In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever for all parties to remain calm and exercise maximum restraint in order to avoid escalation which cannot be in anyone’s interest,” the spokesperson said.