The U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on the conditions of human rights around the world, and the report shows that Iran remains a country with severe human rights problems, including harsh restrictions on civil liberties and an alarming number of executions occurring after legal proceedings that flout due process, Iran’s own constitutional guarantees, and international legal norms.
At a press briefing at the release of the report, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski said there has been no meaningful improvement in Iran over the past year:
“If you read the report, compare them to previous years’ reports, you will find the details of what we are concerned about. And it involves obviously widespread reports of torture, political imprisonment, repression against ethnic and religious minority communities, government harassment of journalists, bloggers, activists and so forth.”
The State Department cited many cases of reported abuse in 2014: for example, the execution of four cultural rights activists from Iran’s Arab minority community, the sentencing of student activist Maryam Shafipour to seven years in prison for peaceful political activism; widespread and systematic use of psychological and physical torture to solicit confessions; and the use of the criminal charge of “moharebeh” or “enmity against God” for political dissidents and journalists.
According to Assistant Secretary of State Malinowski, the United States issues the annual human rights reports to underscore the commitment of the United States to the protection and advancement of human rights, and to provide a voice for the voiceless. “We have an obligation,” he stated, “to ensure that…abuses are not buried, that these people are not forgotten, and that violators of human rights will be held accountable for their crimes.”
Regarding Iran, Assistant Secretary of State Malinowski said the United States will continue to “speak up…and stand up” for the human rights of the Iranian people.