Iran’s Dismal Record on Rights

The Dec. 22 news story “Iran Shuts Down Rights Center” brought to light a problem often overshadowed by concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the conflict in Iraq. In shutting down the country’s foremost human rights organization before an event marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Iranian government reveals a great deal about its attitude toward human rights. If a Nobel Peace Prize winner such as Shirin Ebadi can be repressed with impunity, what chance do others have? In fact, Ms. Ebadi’s story is just the tip of an iceberg. Whether the challenge has come from activists promoting criminal justice reform, the rights of ethnic minorities or workers’ rights, the government’s response has been the same. Activists are harassed, subjected to travel bans, monitored, interrogated, prosecuted and imprisoned. The simple act of collecting signatures in support of gender equality has led to at least 45 arrests. If Iran really wants to defuse the United Nations’ recent crit… >>>

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