Rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed made report to Human Rights Council

March 14, 2013


(Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

On 11 March 2013 the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, voiced serious concern about the general situation of human rights in Iran, pointing to “widespread and systemic” torture, as well as the harassment, arrest and attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists. “The prevailing situation of human rights in Iran continues to warrant serious concern, and will require a wide range of solutions that are both respectful of cultural perspectives and mindful of the universality of fundamental human rights promulgated by the treaties to which Iran is a party,”.

Presenting his report to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, Mr. Shaheed said that Iran has made some “noteworthy advances” in the area of women’s rights, including advancements in health, literacy and in enrolment rates on both the primary and secondary levels.

“However, reports about recent policies that prohibit women’s access to a number of fields of study, further restrict women’s freedom of movement, and current polices that continue to impede women’s ability to hold certain decision-making positions in Government remain problematic,” he noted.

At the same time, a “preponderance of reports” communicated to him this past year indicate that the situation for individuals in Iran who advocate for the advancement of human rights, or those that document, report, or protest against human rights violations, is “grave and continues to deteriorate.” People who defend the rights of women, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as those that work to advance protections for the environment, workers and children continue to be subjected to harassment, arrest, interrogation, and torture and are “frequently charged with vaguely defined national security crimes, which is seemingly meant to erode the frontline of human rights defence in the country,” said the expert.

My current report also presents what appears to be unimpeachable forensic evidence that torture is occurring in Iran on a geographically widespread and systemic (across a number of Government branches) basis,” Mr. Shaheed stated. It is also estimated, he added, that some 40 lawyers have been prosecuted since 2009, and that at least 10 are currently detained.

I should add that Iran has the ‘honor’ of having already two MEA laureates (Emad Baghi and Akbar Ganji) while Nasrine Sotoudeh was a Final Nominee for the MEA 2012.

full press statement by the UN: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44344&Cr=iran&Cr1=#.UUBmCo57m04

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