The United Nations' special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran has started a fact-finding mission that involves questioning members of the Iranian diaspora in European countries.
Ahmed Shaheed on December 13 started a nine-day tour of Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris to gather information about past and present rights abuses in Iran from members of the Iranian communities in those cities.
Among those Shaheed will meet with are student activists, university professors, lawyers, authors, publishers, former political prisoners, and representatives of minority groups such as women's rights organizations and organizations espousing the rights of the gay community in Iran.
Shaheed's findings will be presented to the Iranian government and to members of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014.
Since being appointed in 2011, Shaheed has made several requests to visit Iran, all of which have been denied.