On March 12, 2012, at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Ms. Dokhi Fassihian, Senior Advisor to United for Iran, spoke at the Council after Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, presented his first report to the body >>> video
Thank you, Madam President.
I’m speaking on behalf of the Democracy Coalition Project in coordination with United for Iran.
We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran. We regret that Iranian authorities have not allowed him access to the country, and have, engaged in an unconstructive manner against the mandate.
At the start of the session, Iran’s foreign minister congratulated Egypt and Tunisia on their progress toward the rule of law and respect for human rights, and described Iran as a “flourishing democracy”. The hypocrisy of these statements is staggering. The policies of Iran’s government today embody hostility to all recognized international principles of democracy and human rights.
Since 2009, more than 20,000 citizens have been arrested for their peaceful dissent. More than 1500 have been executed, including juvenile and public executions. Nearly half have been carried out in secret. In the last ten months, 1,100 people have been arrested.
Iran’s elections are neither free nor fair. They amount to a selection process that violates both the right of Iranians to choose their representatives and the right to be elected. Iran’s ruling elite has essentially jailed or silenced all of its opponents.
Prior to the March 2 elections, more than 100 citizens were arrested for peaceful activities. Two youth from Iran’s Arab minority died from torture. As Iran’s Foreign Minister spoke to this Council of human dignity, Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for defending his clients. Nargess Mohammadi was sentenced to six years in jail for campaigning to end juvenile executions. Nazanin Khosravani joined more than 40 other journalists in prison to serve six years for writing about conditions inside Iran.
The families of victims who have died on Iran’s streets and behind prison walls are demanding justice. These crimes, including reports of mass executions in the 1980s, must be investigated.
We call on the Council to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. We call on Iran to allow him access to the country and to release – without conditions – all prisoners of conscience. We further call on authorities to institute a moratorium on the death penalty and launch a credible investigation into alleged crimes. Where domestic accountability mechanisms fail, justice will be pursued through international mechanisms.
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