Prioritising human rights in Iran

Prioritising human rights in Iran
Analysis: The UN is under pressure to support a resolution that calls for an end to human rights abuses in Iran.
2 min read
19 November, 2015
Women in Iran are often discriminated against, according to analysts [Getty]
United Nations member states have been asked to vote in favour of a UN resolution that calls for the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran in a letter signed by 36 organisations, said Human Rights Watch yesterday.

UN Resolution A/C.3/70/L.45 calls on Iran to meet its domestic and international obligations.

The vote is scheduled for 19 November during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.

"The Iranian authorities shouldn't think they are getting a pass on human rights just because the nuclear accord has been signed," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director.

"Passing this resolution will send the message that the world has not forgotten about the country's ongoing human rights abuses," she added.

The US-based human rights organisation argued that Iran had failed to significantly improve its human rights record in 2015, and between January and November executed at least 830 prisoners - including children - on death row.
     The government has been criticised for violating the right to freedom of expression, assembly and religion

Many were sentenced for non-violent crimes including drug-related offences, for which international law prohibits the death penalty.

The government has been criticised for violating the right to freedom of expression, assembly and religion.

On 3 November, two pro-reform journalists were arrested in Iran. One had recently criticised Khamenei and the other had previously been arrested for acting against national security.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, however, spoke out against the arrests, saying they were due to hardliners "misusing" remarks by the supreme leader on the possible spread of US influence in Iran.

Last month a court in Tehran found two poets guilty of insulting religion and spreading propaganda against the state.

They each face 99 lashes and a total of 20 years in jail.

Writer and blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari was convicted of "propaganda against the state" on 11 March. He was sentenced to one and a half years in prison, and two years of internal exile in the city of Tabas.

Hamid Reza Moghaddamfar, an adviser to the powerful head of the Revolutionary Guards, said on November 4 that the crackdown against pro-western writers and journalists was aimed at fighting US "infiltration that is aimed at overthrowing [Iran's] system".

Authorities have also detained teachers for "peacefully organising and advocating on behalf of their profession and their students", said HRW.

Furthermore, women are often discriminated against with, for example, unequal personal status laws and women being barred from some public spaces.