U.S., EU blast Iran's rights abuses at U.N. forum
Reuters / Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States and European Union denounced Iran Tuesday at the top U.N. human rights body for its bloody crackdowns on peaceful protests and other violations since disputed presidential elections a year ago.

The accusations were made at the U.N. Human Rights Council before Washington hopes to win a fourth round of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. That vote could come Wednesday.

U.S. ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the Geneva forum the rights situation in Iran was "one of grave concern."

"Since last June's contested election, the Iranian government has engaged in systematic infringement of the Iranian people's rights to basic liberty, freedom of speech and political association," she said.

Some 250 people who were arrested, prosecuted and convicted for participating in post-election protests have had their sentences upheld by an appellate court, Donahoe said. Fifty among them were still serving terms, she said.

"At least 35 journalists are currently imprisoned in Iran because of their efforts to report on civil and political activity since the election," she added.

Conservative and reformist newspapers in Iran had been shut down and Iranian authorities systematically block the Internet sites of human rights groups, independent media and civil society organizations, the U.S. envoy said.

Iranian authorities also routinely harass human rights defenders, she... >>>

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