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Iranian Rights Abuses Condemned

  • Joan DeLuca

Evin prison

The human rights situation in Iran continues to deteriorate, causing grave international concern.

The human rights situation in Iran continues to deteriorate, causing grave international concern.

Reporters without Borders notes that the world's youngest detained blogger, 18 year old Navid Mohebbi, is currently being tried behind closed doors before a revolutionary court in the northern Iranian city of Amol. He is being charged with national security crimes, and with insulting the Supreme Leader. His lawyer has not been allowed to attend the trial.

The sister of imprisoned journalist Abdolreza Tajik has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Parvin Tajik spoke to various media about the brutal treatment her brother has been subjected to since his most recent arrest in June. Now she has been convicted of "acting against the establishment and creating anxiety for public opinion."

The trial of the two young American hikers who have been detained in Iran since July 2009 has been postponed until February, and their lawyer has been denied permission to meet with his clients.

The son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Azeri Iranian woman whose stoning sentence triggered an international outcry, was arrested by the Iranian authorities and remains in prison. Ms. Ashtiani's lawyer was also arrested, as were two German journalists who were investigating her case.

Hundreds of Iranian students, women's rights activists, human rights defenders, members of Iran's minority religious communities, and others persecuted solely for their opinions or beliefs, languish behind bars, and there have been credible reports of intolerable prison conditions and physical abuse.

On November 18, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly approved by a wide margin a draft resolution condemning the Iranian government for "serious, ongoing and recurring human rights violations ... including among others, torture; the high incidence in carrying out the death penalty ... violence against women; persecution against ethnic minorities, and increased persecution against members of the Baha'i faith."

The United States applauded the Third Committee's action. National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement, "By adopting the resolution, the international community has sent an unequivocal message to the Iranian government that universal rights must be respected. The United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights."

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