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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid