U.N. special rapporteur: Abolish torture and release detainees

Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, was interviewed by Al Arabiya’s studios in the United Nations about the current situation in the country.

She said that in many areas in the country there are serious violations of human rights – from rule of law, denial of due process, discriminatory laws, people being discriminated against on religious and ethnic grounds and torture. She said that she believes the Iranian government is beginning to look into these violations, however the steps being taken to address then are “very tiny”. The government knows that there are issues that need to be addressed, but she emphasised that it cannot continue to let them drag on because awareness is rising across the world.

With regards to protesters in Iran that seek an improvement of the rights situation, Jahangir said that she will not discourage them from speaking up, despite the fact that they risk detention and torture. She reminded them that it is the right of every citizen in the world to speak up for their rights and against incidents where rights are violated.

She said that it is important that the activists build tighter networks with human rights organisations, with journalists, with employers, and so on, because they will get security from each other and will be able to devise better and more effective ways to challenge any actions that take away their rights.

In her latest report, Jahangir called on the Iranian government to abolish torture and to release detainees as well as a number of other recommendations, but she is unsure that they will be honoured. She pointed out that there must be no tolerance for human rights violations against people who simply want to have their rights asserted or people who fight for the rights of others.

Speaking about the 53 political prisoners that were transferred to another wing in the prison in July this year who started a hunger strike to protest their treatment, Jahangir said that the government does not class them as political detainees. She, however, highlights that they are in fact human rights defenders and said the UN has sent urgent appeals. She said that the Iranian government needs to act because it accountable to the Human Rights Council.

Source » ncr-iran

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