For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – NIAC commends today’s announcement that the Obama Administration is designating Basij Commander Mohammed Reza Naqdi and Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi for US financial and visa restrictions due to their involvement in human rights abuses against the Iranian people.
“The international community must increase its focus on the human rights abuses being carried out by Iran’s government against ordinary Iranians,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director. “Instead of broad sanctions that punish the very Iranians struggling for democracy and greater rights against government repression, sanctions must be re-targeted to focus on Iranian officials violating those rights.”
NIAC has consistently supported targeted measures to protect the Iranian people from human rights violations while rejecting broad sanctions that punish ordinary Iranians.
NIAC strongly condemns the Iranian government’s continued human rights violations, including the response to popular demonstrations last week that resulted in at least two deaths and mass detentions. NIAC reiterates its call for the Iranian government to comply with its international legal obligations to uphold human rights.
NIAC continues to urge member states of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), including the United States, to establish an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran when the HRC convenes in March. A human rights monitor that investigates and reports on the human rights abuses occurring in Iran can provide much needed transparency and help offer needed space and protection to Iranian human rights defenders. Last week, 24 US Senators called for the appointment of a human rights monitor in a letter to Secretary Clinton that was strongly supported by NIAC.
“Today’s actions by the Obama Administration are a welcome component of what must be an international effort to target Iranian human rights abusers and establish a UN human rights monitor,” said Abdi. “At the same time, the international community must work to prevent multilateral and unilateral sanctions from continuing to punish the ordinary Iranians we seek to help.”
NIAC was instrumental last year in supporting the first-ever legislation to impose targeted measures against human rights violators in Iran and to ease US restrictions on Internet communication and civil society that harm ordinary Iranians.