Urgent appeal to prevent further human rights abuses in Iran
Wednesday 6 January 2010, by
Human rights organisations are calling on governments across the globe to demand an immediate end to the flagrant violations of human rights being perpetrated by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Following demonstrations on the 27th December 2009 over 2,000 people have been arrested by the Iranian authorities. Those arrested were engaged in legitimate protest to the regime’s failure to acknowledge the defeat of Ahmadinejad, its preferred candidate, in the 12th June 2009 presidential election in Iran.
However, as a consequence of exercising the freedom to assemble and protest, many people are being subject to the most inhumane treatment, with the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) contemplating the implementation of even more draconian measures to silence those opposed to the present government.
CODIR (Committee for the Defence of the Iranian Peopleâ€™s Rights) has learned that in recent days:-
A bill drafted with the support of 36 conservative and ultra reactionary members of parliament is calling for the reduction of the period between someone being sentenced to death for political opposition and his or her execution, from 20 to just 5 days. The architect of the bill is Ruhullah Husseinian, a conservative clerical leader who has a history of opposition to the followers of reform in the country.
Prisoners are being kept in harsh and inhumane conditions. They are denied blankets and proper clothes in the middle of a bitter winter. Shiva Nazar Ahari, a human rights activist and blogger, who was arrested on her way to attend the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri in Qom, is denied blankets and has been restricted in her access to toilet facilities.
Since the 27th December demonstrations in Iran a large number of women activists have been arrested and arrests continue. They include Mansoureh Shojaei, Zohre Tonekaboni, Badrulsadat Mofidi, Mahin Fahimi, Leyla Tavassoli, Noushin Ebadi (sister of Shireen Ebadi), Nasrin Vaziri, Niloofar Hashemi Azar, Atieh Yousefi, Bahareh Hedayat, Nafiseh Asghari, Maryam Zeya, Mahsa Hekmat, Parisa Kakaei, Forough Mirzaei and Sara Tavauli.
Women activists who were arrested at the protest demonstration on 27th December, including Azar Mansouri, Sommayyeh Rashidi, Zahra Jabbari, Kobra Zaghe Doust and Mehdieh Golrou, are still in prison. Reports indicate they are being treated with indescribable violence.
There are persistent calls from the religious leaders aligned with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad for opponents of the regime and participants in the anti government demonstrations to be hanged.
According to reports received from Iran on 3rd January 2010, a number of followers of the Bahai’ faith were arrested and incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison in North West Tehran. Amongst them is Zhinoos Sobhani, a well known human rights activist. Baha’is have been harassed and persecuted across Iran. This represents a worsening of repression of the already persecuted Baha’I faith. In the 1980s Bahai leaders and followers were arrested and many executed and adherents are still not allowed to work in public services and as civil servants.
In response to the above new evidence of an increase in human rights abuses Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR, expressed concern that the regime is trying to start a new wave of terror in order to regain control and force the protesters from the street.
â€œIt is simply unacceptable that the regime feels it can respond in this wayâ€ , said Mr Ahmadi, â€œThere have been major concerns expressed across all levels of Iranian society about the outcomes of the June election. Even senior sections of the clergy, including former presidents Rafsanjani and Khatemi, have expressed their doubts in public.â€
Mr Ahmadi went on to express the view that the institutionalised violence of the regime would not bring about a solution to the present problems in Iran.
â€œThe Iranian regime must find a way of engaging in dialogue with the opposition about the issues they raiseâ€ , he said. â€œWithout any platform for negotiation, protest will inevitably end up on the streets and the authorities only appear to be able to address that response with the use of force.â€
In response to the recent human rights abuses CODIR has issued a set of demands for action as follows:-
CODIR demands immediate action by the government of the United Kingdom and governments of the European Union to protest to the Iranian authorities e.g. Iranian Embassies across the world, calling on the regime to:
Release of all those arrested immediately
Cease all executions in Iran
Allow representatives of Amnesty International and the UN Commission of Human Rights to visit Iran and examine conditions at first hand
Lift all censorship on newsmedia, restore access to the worldwide web and free communications channels with immediate effect.
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Further information for Editors
CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian Peopleâ€™s Rights. It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
CODIR has worked closely with the trades union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iranâ€™s prisons.
CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.
In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.