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The UN Special Rapporteur has released an initial report on the human rights situation in Iran. The report highlights several disturbing trends, which serve to cripple civil society activism. The report shows a concerted effort to prevent dissent and the development of an independent civil society by severely punishing those who speak out or act in a way deemed inappropriate or threatening by the state. In many cases, punishment is exacted for activities that were once sanctioned. The report demonstrates a clear trend towards increased state violence and disregard for its own legal system and constitution.
Some of the trends revealed in the report include:
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center presents a chart of executions in Iran since the 2010, most confirmed by official and semi-official sources.
In the Washington Post, Thomas Erdbrink reports on the effects of sanctions after the Obama administration issued a statement tying one of Iran's largest ports to the Revolutionary Guards
"It is shocking to see the current examples of structural violence against women from our neighbors in the South and the Near East," stated Ursula Plassnik, Special Rapporteur for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Women's Concerns.
"The murder of women's rights activist Haleh Sahabi, virginity tests for demonstrators arrested in Egypt, and Qadaffi's suspected use of special forces sanctioned to use rape as a weapon must be a wake-up call for the international community to continue pushing for women's rights and human rights in the region," demands Plassnik. "The UN, the EU, and the Arab League must urgently speak out on this matter. The disregard for the most fundamental human and women's rights should not stain the 'Arab Spring'."
Click here for a sample letter to send to protest the passage of a bill in Iran's Parliament that would stifle independent civil society. This is part of an urgent action led by Amnesty International. For more information, read the joint statement from Shirin Ebadi, Arseh Sevom, and 8 other human rights organizations.
IRAN: Series of sentences, acts of judicial harassment and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders
Paris-Geneva, February 8, 2011. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), deplores yet another massive wave of repression against human rights defenders and expresses its deepest concern over the arbitrary arrests, sentencing and judicial harassment faced by lawyers, journalists and other human rights activists in Iran.
The Observatory denounces the intensive judicial harassment and arbitrary detention of dozens of human rights defenders in Iran, which merely aims at sanctioning the legitimate exercise of their work, amid a general crackdown against the Iranian civil society.