On Monday in Geneva they called on the authorities to “put an end to impunity”. This demand was also echoed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi from her prison in Tehran.

In a joint statement to the Human Rights Council, ten days after a damning report against Iran, dozens of states said they were still “concerned about the situation of women’s rights”. They called for the abandonment of a bill that would toughen penalties for women who refuse to wear the Islamic veil or wear it incorrectly. The bill provides for up to ten years’ imprisonment, as well as lashes, travel restrictions, higher fines and internet bans.

Similarly, dozens of states, including most European countries and the United States, are calling for an end to discrimination against women and for an end to the persecution of dissidents and human rights activists. Also appearing before the Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran said he had received information about Mohammadi’s very poor health.

In a statement read out by an NGO, Mohammadi denounced the “systematic, widespread and institutionalised violations” of the rights of Iranians. “Repression has increased,” she added.

In addition to the joint statement, Switzerland expressed its personal concern to the UN body. It is “particularly worried by the lack of consideration shown by the Iranian authorities” with regard to discrimination against women, said Jürg Lauber, Swiss ambassador to the UN in Geneva. It is high time that Iran took concrete measures, he added.

Source » swissinfo