UN Special Rapporteur calls on Iran to stop detaining activists

UN Special Rapporteur calls on Iran to stop detaining activists

Published by on September 26, 2017

In an interview with Al Arabiya news agency on September 23rd, Ms Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, expressed concern at serious human rights violations in Iran.

She referred to many areas that violations are taking place including the rule of law, denial of due process, existence of torture, discriminatory laws, and discriminations on religious and ethnic grounds. She said that the government of Iran knows that there are issues that need to be addressed, but she emphasised that they cannot drag them on for so long because awareness is rising across the world.

While recognising the dangers that activist inside Iran face when they protest or raise their voice, Ms Jahangir said that she will not discourage them from speaking up.

In her latest report, Ms Jahangir called on the Iranian government to abolish torture and release of detainees. She also made a number of other recommendations, but she said she is not sure that they will be honoured by the Iranian regime.

Speaking about the political prisoners who were on hunger strike to protest their treatment, Ms Jahangir said that the government of Iran does not class them as political detainees, “however I consider that they are detainees because many of them have been fighting either for their own rights or for the rights of others, and definitely they do qualify as human rights defenders”.

When asked if she believes in Hassan Rouhani’s promises before election she said she has not seen a major step in that direction and called on the government to “stop prosecution of human rights defenders and journalists”.

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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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