February 28, 2011

Arrest of Iranian Opposition Leaders Further Demonstrates Need for International Efforts

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

Washington, DC – NIAC condemns the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and reiterates its call for the international community to take serious steps to address human rights violations in Iran.  Accordingly, NIAC applauds today’s announcement that the United States and Sweden are working with the international community to establish an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran this March at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).  NIAC also supports the European Union’s recent decision to consider targeted measures against Iranian government human rights abusers and urges the EU to implement these measures promptly.

“The arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi is the latest escalation in a long campaign of violations that demonstrate why the international community must take concrete measures to address the human rights situation in Iran,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director.  “We applaud the US and Sweden for working to establish an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran and urge the EU to adopt targeted measures against human rights violators in Iran’s government.”

Today’s announcement that the establishment of a human rights monitor would be pursued by the US, Sweden, and other HRC member states follows sustained calls for such action from NIAC, human rights defenders like Shirin Ebadi, and international human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch.  Additionally, the human rights restrictions being considered by the EU are similar to measures supported by NIAC that have been imposed by the US on human rights abusers in Iran’s government.

“We applaud international efforts to support and protect basic human rights like the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression in Iran,” said Abdi. “Measures to stand with the Iranian people deserve international support, and are a welcome alternative to broad sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians and calls for a military confrontation that only undermine Iran’s human rights and democracy movement.” 




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