Published: 2020-03-24 18:49
Last Updated: 2020-03-24 18:49
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called for the “urgent re-evaluation” of any sanctions imposed on countries like Iran facing the new coronavirus pandemic to avoid pushing strained medical systems into collapse, according to wires.
"At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended," Bachelet said in a statement.
Bachelet pointed to Iran as an important example - one of the hardest-hit countries in the pandemic with nearly 2,000 deaths and emphasized that a collapse of medical systems in a country poses a danger to other countries.
"In the context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us," she said.
Bachelet insisted "humanitarian exemptions to sanctions measures should be given broad and practical effect, with prompt, flexible authorization for essential medical equipment and supplies."
Her comments came as the number of cases of COVID-19 approached 400,000 worldwide, including nearly 17,000 deaths, according to an AFP tally using official sources.