UN reform! Iran's Torquemada a delegate to new Human Rights Council

When he’s not busy helping shape international policy on human rights, he enjoys windsurfing, closing down newspapers, and beating female journalists to death:

The infamous Saeed Mortazavi this week led Iran’s delegation in Geneva to the first session of the United Nation’s newly reconfigured human rights panel on Monday, even though Iran is not a member of that panel. Mr. Mortazavi is accused by the Canadian government of playing a role in the rape and murder of a woman journalist and photographer, is credited with closing more than 100 newspapers, and was responsible not only for jailing the students who led the July 9, 1999, pro-democracy demonstrations in Tehran but of clearing the security officials accused of torturing them…

The Canadian foreign minister, Peter MacKay, minced no words yesterday, saying his nation was “disgusted” that Mr. Mortazavi would show his face in Geneva, and that the decision to include him in Iran’s delegation to the human rights council “demonstrates the Government of Iran’s complete contempt for internationally recognized principles of human rights.”

He went even further, noting that the information Ottawa has compiled on Mr. Mortazavi’s role in the murder of [Canadian journalist Zahra] Kazemi was being shared with the government of Switzerland, hinting that Canada may be rallying support not only for international isolation of the Iranian judge but possibly for his arrest by Swiss authorities.

Rooz calls him the “prime suspect” in the Kazemi murder. According to the Sun, he’s the lead prosecutor/persecutor of Iranian democracy advocate Akbar Ganji, having ordered him imprisoned last year for giving “illegal interviews” when he called for Khamenei’s leadership to be put to a popular vote.

So what’s Iran doing at the Council to advance human rights? Precisely what you’d expect, and for the most cynical possible reason — mau-mauing mealy-mouthed progressives into looking the other way on human-rights abuses:

Although some diplomats say the drive reflects Muslim anger over cartoons published in the West last year depicting the Prophet Mohammad, others see it as part of a longer-term effort to counter criticism of the rights records of many OIC states.

Speaking of mealy-mouthed progressives and radical Islam, check out this Guardian exclusive with Iran’s head nuclear dissembler. Pure mouthpiece propaganda, indistinguishable from a press release except for the quotation marks.

Update: To their credit, Brian Ross and ABC News have picked up the story. “Butcher of the press” indeed.

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