Statement on the systemic patterns of violation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GD Item 4)
Sudwind drew council’s attention to the systemic patterns of violation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. President, the election of president Rohani 9 months ago brought about new hopes among Iranians. Nonetheless, the human Rights situation in Iran has known nothing but degradation so far. Intimidation and harassment of the civil society continues. Only a week ago, the European Union foreign policy chief visited seven of women’s rights activists on the occasion of international women’s day at the Austrian embassy in Tehran. One of those was Gohar Eshghi, mother of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who was killed under torture in prison. Once again impunity has governed instead of rule of law and no perpetrator has been persecuted. The other activist visited, was Narges Mohammadi, the ex-vice-president of the Defenders of Human Rights center. This center was banned and some of its members such as Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Dadkhah both human rights lawyers are in prison. The visit of Madam Ashton was severely criticized in the Iranian state media, and she was personally attacked and accused of interfering with the state sovereignty. Several billboards in the streets also portrayed her face as evil and the Head of Judiciary even threatened that if such meetings which are against the security of state, continue in the future, the judiciary will definitely take action itself. Moreover, Gohar Eshghi’s image holding his son’s photo was surprisingly vanished by Photoshop from the newspapers as a way not to attract public attention to this personality. Mr. President, Not only nuclear issue in Iran, but also Human Rights violations in this country should be the concern of international community. Therefore Sudwind urges the Human Rights Council Member states to act now and to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran, as this is the only way of keeping a close and constant eye on the everyday degrading situation of Human Rights in Iran. Most of Human Rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in Iran can’t have their voices heard except through the hard work and investigation of the Special Rapporteur. We demand that Iran cooperates with the SR and prepares his visit. We also demand more High level visits to the country such as that of Madam Ashton, as these raise hope among the Iranian people that the international community cares about what is happening inside Iran.