News / Middle East

UN Expert Says Iranian Rights Abuses Increasing

Bust of Neda Agha Soltan, a student killed during Tehran's 2009 election protests, before pictures of what rights advocates say are victims of Iranian human rights violators, Rome, Feb. 11, 2010.
Bust of Neda Agha Soltan, a student killed during Tehran's 2009 election protests, before pictures of what rights advocates say are victims of Iranian human rights violators, Rome, Feb. 11, 2010.
Lisa Schlein
Iran is blasting the findings of a United Nations researcher who alleges an increase in torture, executions and repression of free expression in the country.
 
Citing many accusations of abuse in Iran, U.N. Special Investigator Ahmed Shaheed says he is concerned at the high rate of executions, the majority of them drug offenses, which do not meet international standards for “most serious crimes.”
 
According to Shaheed, about 500 executions took place in Iran last year, including some 200 secret executions acknowledged by family members, prison officials or members of the judiciary.
 
“My current report also presents what appears to be unimpeachable forensic evidence that torture is occurring in Iran on a geographically widespread and systemic basis, and that methods applied to victims are done so systematically, as similar methods re-appear in multiple testimonies submitted by individuals in cities across the country," he said.
 
Shaheed says the Iranian government continues to persecute religious minorities, and that 110 Baha’is and at least 13 Christians are currently being held in detention centers for exercising their faiths.
 
Iran’s delegate at the Human Rights Council, Ali Ardashir Larijani, blasted Shaheed’s findings, calling the report a compilation of unfounded allegations and accusations.
 
“The report ... is a product of an unhealthy, non-objective and counter-productive exercise initiated by the United States of America and its European allies," Larijani said. "Therefore, we never expected to receive and consider a balanced and impartial report out of hostile policies of these states.”
 
Officials in Tehran have refused to grant Shaheed access into the country.
 
Still, Shaheed acknowledged Iran has made some significant advances in the area of women’s rights. These include advancements in health, literacy and in enrollment rates of both the primary and secondary school levels.
 
However, Shaheed says, recent policies bar women from pursuing a number of fields of study. And women, he adds, are generally restricted in their freedom of movement and prevented from holding certain decision-making positions in the government.
 
“A majority of human rights defenders, including those that defend the rights of women, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as those that work to advance protections for the environment, workers and children, continue to be subjected to harassment, arrest, interrogation, and torture and are frequently charged with vaguely-defined national security crimes," he said.
 
Shaheed is the former foreign minister of the Maldives who was named the U.N.’s Iran monitor in 2011.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hassim Baltanar from: Iran
March 13, 2013 10:17 AM
"secret executions" - these are executions sanctioned by Islamic religious decree for the suppression of "deviant behavior" like not wearing the veil or questioning Islamic authority or a political party, or if you belong to minorities groups considered profaned to the "Prophet" mainly in rural villages and remote regions of Iran are prevalent and increasing. these so called "Executions" are nothing but Islamic murders of minorities, Sunny Arabs, Hazaras, Kurds... and unproven allegations of drug abuse. Iran is Islamic hell


by: kanaikaalirumporai
March 13, 2013 8:09 AM
Well, sovereign Iranian state should not be humiliated like this, if there's anything that is of any concern, then it should be investigated by the Iranian authorities themselves.


by: Anonymous
March 12, 2013 7:57 PM
Irans government will get a serious smack on the hand soon enough. They have been acting like idiots in front of the world stage. Everyone in Iran dislikes the Iranian government but cannot do anything about it. I've heard from several Iranian people that the moment they can topple their own government they absolutely will, preferably when the UN security council starts bombing the strategic locations. Hats off to the Iranian people, they are next. Bye Bye tyrant world leaders, hello peace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid