Students Staff

20 March 2014

Human rights in Iran remains a “serious concern”

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:57 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran

Despite acknowledging some progress, Essex-based UN Special Rapporteur Professor Ahmed Shaheed has said that the human rights situation in Iran “remains of serious concern” in his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Speaking in Geneva earlier this week, Professor Shaheed from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, once again called for an “immediate moratorium” on the death penalty, highlighted press restrictions, and called for the release of all political prisoners. He also raised concerns that Iran’s draft Charter of Citizens’ Rights is unacceptably vague, with too many “overly-broad caveats.”

In his sixth report since accepting the Iran mandate, Professor Shaheed once again focused on the use of the death penalty in cases that do not qualify as the “most serious” crimes. He drew specific attention to the cases of cultural activists Hashem Shabani and Hadi Rashedi and former child bride Farzaneh Moradi.

Speaking about freedom of the press, Professor Shaheed highlighted the forced shut down of publications Bahar and Aseman following the publication of commentary on theological questions. Professor Shaheed said this indicates “that the Government will not even tolerate discussion within the confines of the state religion.”

Professor Shaheed also called for the release of all political prisoners and spoke about the “chilling effect” of the harsh sentencing of student activists.

Watch Professor Shaheed’s presentation online.

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