IRAN FOCUS | October 29, 2020
The United Nations General Assembly condemned the Iranian government on Monday for its ongoing and systematic human rights abuses.
During the 75th session of UNGA’s Third Committee, which is focused on social and human rights issues, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said that there is a “clear pattern” of Iranian authorities trying to “silence public dissent over the social, economic and political situation.”
He mentioned that in the past few months, the government has handed down and carried out multiple death sentences for protesters, citing the arbitrary execution of wrestler and political prisoner Navid Afkari in September as “emblematic”.
“This grievous violation of the right to life is the latest execution in a series of protest-related death sentences, despite allegations of torture-induced forced confessions and other serious fair trial violations,” he said.
Before Afkari’s execution, political prisoner Mostafa Salehi was executed in August and his family has since had their home stolen by the official. There are dozens of more political prisoners on death row, many under torture, and there is increased concern about the protesters arrested during the November 2019 protests. After all, the State Security Forces (SSF) shot 1,500 peaceful protesters dead in the street, so what would they do behind closed doors?
Deputy U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council Courtney Nemroff also raised concerns about Afkari’s, other political prisoners, and ongoing human rights abuses.
“We remain concerned about death sentences imposed following unfair trials and forced confessions reportedly obtained through torture. The most vicious recent example is the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari on September 12,” she said.
Nemroff further said that the government enjoyed impunity over its criminal activities since 1979 and urged the international community to conduct “an independent investigation” into the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, including the alleged involvement of judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.
This comes after Iranian authorities have increased the repressive measures used against the people, especially peaceful protesters. In October alone, the SSF members have killed several young people in the streets, and security authorities have been boasting about mass arrests under the guise of getting violent thugs off the streets. At the same time, conditions in Iran’s prisons have severely deteriorated, particularly for political prisoners.