FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – NIAC applauds the work of the UN human rights monitor on Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, and welcomes his latest report presented this week to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlining egregious human rights violations by Iran’s government.
NIAC calls on the UNHRC to vote next week in support of renewing the mandate for the monitor, which represents an important multilateral mechanism to address Iran’s human rights situation.
NIAC reiterates its condemnation of the Iranian government’s human rights abuses and calls again for Iranian authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, such as Nasrin Sotoudeh; halt the systematic violations of human rights documented in Dr. Shaheed’s report; and to fully cooperate with the monitor.
Instead of disputing the reports validity or attempting to discredit the monitor’s efforts through baseless accusations, the Iranian government should take this report seriously and address the disturbing violations that have been documented. An important first step would be to grant Dr. Shaheed to unfettered access to visit Iran and conduct independent research as part of his mandate.
The monitor’s report documents the recent crackdown on journalists inside Iran and the growing obstacles that Iranian lawyers encounter with the increased number of detentions in the country. It also documents the mistreatment of detained human rights defenders, including “physical and psychological duress during interrogations for the purpose of soliciting signed and televised confessions.”
The report estimates that there were between 489 and 497 executions in Iran during 2012, including approximately 200 secret executions. The report additionally outlines state discrimination against women, Iran’s LGBT community, and religious minorities including members of the Baha’i faith.
The human rights report also warns about the negative impact of sanctions and calls for the UN and sanctioning countries “and to take all appropriate steps to ensure that measures, such as humanitarian exemptions, are effectively serving their intended purpose to prevent the potentially harmful impacts of general economic sanctions on human rights.”
NIAC strongly supported the establishment of the UN human rights monitor–formally known as the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran–in 2011. NIAC continues to urge for this and other multilateral mechanisms to be utilized, in addition to direct negotiations and pressure that is targeted narrowly at human rights abusers, in order to effectively address Iran’s human rights situation.