Dec 05, 2013

Iranian Kurdistan: Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

A statement by Iran Human Rights group emphasizes the need for human rights in Iran to be made a priority, after a breakthrough nuclear talk in Geneva.

Below is an article by Ahwaz News Agency:

Human rights should now be the focus of international dialogue with Iran following the break-through on nuclear talks in Geneva, says the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group.

IHR points to a worrying trend in human rights abuse with a surge in executions since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

IHR founder and spokesperson Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: "We welcome an agreement on the nuclear issue. The Iranian people do not want a war, but they also want respect for human rights, ethnic rights and the tackling of serious environmental problems.

"The talks are an opportunity to press the human rights case. The international community urgently needs to press for a moratorium on executions and encourage the relevant Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council to seek invitations for the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, to visit Iran. 

"Sustainable peace and stability in Iran and the Middle East can not be achieved as long as Iranian people’s human rights are not secured."

While the latest round of P5+1 talks was taking place in Geneva from mid-October, IHR has documented 90 executions. Fifty of these were carried out in ethnic areas of Iran or were members of ethnic minorities executed in central parts of the country. They included three Kurdish and 17 Balochi prisoners convicted of Moharebeh, enmity with God, which is a charge commonly used against opponents of the government.

Many other non-Persian political prisoners are also facing imminent execution, including three Ahwazi Arabs who gave forced confessions on the government’s Press TV channel allegedly following months of torture in the custody of the intelligence services.

Religious minorities also continued to suffer violent persecution while the world concentrated on talks over the nuclear issue. Following raids on 14 Baha’i homes in the Iranian city of Abadeh in October, residents were interrogated by government agents who told them to leave town or face being summoned the occupants for questioning and told them to leave town or they would be knifed to death in the street.

Christians, Alawites and Sunnis are also subjected to continued persecution and state violence in spite of President Rouhani’s pledge to allow greater freedom of worship.