Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:17

Rights group says Rohani must now address human rights

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Amnesty International has called on the Hassan Rohani administration to live up to its human rights commitments.

In a statement issued on November 25, the rights group calls for “urgent concrete measures” to improve human rights conditions in the country.

“For years, Iran’s human rights situation has been overshadowed, both internationally and at home, by discussions about the country’s nuclear programme,” Amnesty International writes; “ Now that an agreement has been reached, there must not be any more delays in addressing Iran’s dire human rights situation.”

Amnesty International acknowledges some “initial positive developments” at the start of the Rohani presidency, namely the release of a number of political prisoners and the reinstatement of banned university students and lecturers. However, it goes on to add that many citizens still remain in Iranian prisons “convicted of vaguely worded offences.”

As examples, Amnesty International refers to human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, union activist Reza Shahabi, student activist Bahareh Hedayat and journalists Khosro and Massoud Kordpour, who are all serving heavy prison sentences.

The continued house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi is another sensitive human rights situation that the Rohani administration has had no luck in addressing.

There has been a surge in number of executions in Iran in recent weeks, and many experts have attributed them to a backlash by the country’s conservative factions against the more moderate forces taking control of the presidency and the cabinet.