Iran’s Continued Assault on Human Rights – The heralded Iranian nuclear deal has prompted a number of Western countries to begin expanding their …
The heralded Iranian nuclear deal has prompted a number of Western countries to begin expanding their economic and political relationships with Iran. Trade negotiations have started and Iran was welcomed to participate in the Syria peace talks. In November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was welcomed in visits to several European countries.
While the nuclear deal was celebrated as a means to promoting international peace, it is too early to regard it as a turning point for Iran. So far, President Rouhani has done nothing to alter the course of Iran’s unrelenting violations of the rights of journalists, religious and ethnic minorities, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists, among others. Whatever excuses observers might offer regarding the strength of forces that resist reform, the Iranian government cannot be rewarded when the suffering of so many of his citizens continues and in many cases worsens.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported on the continued assault on human rights before the opening of this year’s United Nations General Assembly in September. The Secretary-General reported on more than 500 executions in the first half of 2015, a number that could go over 1,000 by the end of the year, according to Amnesty International. The most executions per capita of any country in the world, many of those executed are minors. Ban Ki-moon also decried continuing attacks on freedom of expression and labour rights, along with a systematic lack of due process in the courts and the application of the rule of law in the country.
For the relatively large Baha’i community—Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority—the rights violations have intensified. Close to 10,000 Canadian-Iranians among Canada’s 35,000 Baha’is are acutely aware of that through relatives and friends in Iran.
Almost every week a new outrage. In an effort to block Baha’i youth from higher education, Iranian authorities imprisoned the mother and are threatening to imprison the father of a six-year-old boy, depriving him of care, simply because the couple, Azita Rafizadeh and Payman Koushk-Baghi, have tried to support an informal effort to provide young Iranian Baha’is with some university education, otherwise denied entrance to universities because of their religion.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
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