Iranian authorities have increased their crackdown against human rights defenders

Iranian authorities have increased their crackdown against human rights defenders

Published by on September 6, 2018

According to Human Rights Watch: “Since 31 August, 2018, Iranian authorities have arrested four more human rights defenders, as well as Reza Khandan, husband of the prominent imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, all in Tehran. The authorities should immediately release these human rights defenders, who appear to have been arrested solely for peaceful dissent.”

The report continues: “On 31August, Mohammad Najafi, a human rights lawyer, posted on his Facebook page that the authorities had arrested two other human rights lawyers, Farokh Forouzan and Payam Derafshan, who had attended a gathering at the house of an imprisoned lawyer, Arash Keykhosrqavi.

Derafshan represents Sotoudeh, whom authorities have detained since June. In the first days of September, authorities also arrested Hoda Amid and Najmeh Vahedi, two women’s rights defenders who are instructors for a workshop on equal rights in marriage, at their homes in Tehran. On the morning of 4 September, the authorities arrested Khandan after he refused to appear for an interrogation.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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