GVF — The Freedom House has applauded the appointment of a UN special rapporteur to assess the human rights crisis in Iran and has called on the newly-appointed official Dr Ahmed Shaheed “to investigate the condition of Iranian political prisoners as his first order of duty.”
A former foreign minister of the Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed, was named United Nations human rights investigator on Iran on Friday, the first in nearly a decade. However yesterday, an Iranian MP said Iran would deny Shaheed entry into the country.
“The Iranian regime must answer to its people and the international community for its gross human rights violations,” said David J. Kramer, executive director at Freedom House. “Blocking Dr. Shaheed’s entry further demonstrates the regime’s guilt on all accounts.”
The independent watchdog organisation said that since June 2009, the Iranian regime had “systematically arrested and imprisoned journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists.”
“This month, the authorities’ ruthlessness caused the death of two prominent political prisoners: activist Haleh Sahabi and journalist Hoda Saber. Haleh Sahabi, who was on temporary release for her father’s funeral, was killed during a raid by security forces at the ceremony.”
Saber died after being denied medical attention and beaten by prison authorities at the Evin prison hospital. Prison officials had repeatedly delayed his transfer to hospital.
The activist had gone on hunger strike to protest Haleh Sahabi’s death, and was finally transferred to a prison hospital after his condition had deteriorated. Yet astonishingly, instead of giving him medical attention, he was was severely beaten by state-thugs at the hospital, ultimately resulting in his death hours later.
Since the brutal killings of Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber, twelve inmates at Tehran’s Evin prison have commenced an “indefinite” hunger strike to show their outrage and protest towards the act.
The strikers include prominent journalists, activists and politicians such as Feizollah Arabsorkhi, Abdollah Momeni, Bahman Ahmadi Amooei and Emad Bahavar.
Freedom House explains that Iran is ranked “not free” in its “Freedom in the World 2011” survey of political rights and civil liberties, and “not free” in its “Freedom of the Press 2011” report.
The house is an independent watchdog organisation advocating democracy and human rights around the world.