January 10, 2011

Arbitrary Arrests and Detentions Demonstrate Need for Serious International Efforts

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Elwood
Phone: 202-423-7957
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – NIAC calls on  the Iranian government to end its systematic campaign of intimidation against human rights defenders, democracy activists, and political opponents.  NIAC condemns today’s sentencing of prominent human rights lawyers Nasrin Sotoudeh and Shiva Nazar Ahari, and the December sentence handed down against Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi.

NIAC reiterates its call for the Obama Administration to work with the international community to take concrete steps to address Iran’s human rights violations, including the establishment of an independent United Nations human rights monitor for Iran.

“The Iranian people hold the greatest hope for a future in which a democratic Iran respects its international obligations and enjoys positive relations with the international community,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director.  “But as the Iranian government continues to flout its human rights obligations, the US and the international community have failed to step up effectively to help protect human rights in Iran.”

An independent UN human rights monitor for Iran was in place from 1986 to 2002, a period of time in which Iran’s human rights conditions improved.  But since 2002, this mandate has not been in place.  The next opportunity to reestablish such a mandate will come this March when the UN Human Rights Council reconvenes.

“Any long-term solution to our concerns with Iran must ensure the Iranian people are able to realize their aspirations in accordance with their universal rights,” said Abdi.  “The Obama Administration must make human rights a priority and work seriously with the international community to establish an independent UN human rights monitor for Iran this March.”

The Obama Administration joined the UN Human Rights Council in 2009, reversing the policy of the Bush Administration.  However, since the US joined the UNHRC, the body has failed to adopt any resolutions or mandates regarding Iran.




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