Arseh Sevom–Trust, but verify: that is the message of the recent nuclear agreement with Iran. The completed agreement sent hopes of better times soaring in Iran where a whole generation has felt itself sacrificed to hardline policies and the results of sanctions. If trust can be built in the wake of these negotiations, there is an opportunity for the international community to engage Iran on its human rights record. That is the next step.
The new administration of President Hassan Rouhani has pledged to tackle a range of human rights issues in Iran, by eliminating discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities, and ensuring respect for the right to freedom of expression, among other measures. Despite these welcome signals, human rights abuses are deeply rooted in Iran’s laws and policies, many of which pose a serious barrier to the executive branch’s ability to push through much needed rights reforms.
Arseh Sevom- This week’s review is unfortunately focused on the treatment of political prisoners in Iran. Events of the past months demand this. The season marking the anniversary of the taking of the American Embassy seems to endanger Iran’s homegrown activists more than it hurts the US with the chanting of “Death to America.” At a time when Iranians are hoping for change, and especially at this time, it’s necessary to put pressure on Iran’s government to improve the conditions for all of its prisoners and urgently for its political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
The Cyrus Cylinder preserves a proclamation from Cyrus the Great which has been called the first declaration of human rights. Hirad Abtahi, first legal adviser of the Presidency of the International Criminal Court, examines the proclamation in a recently published book, stating that it can be summed up thematically as calling for dialogue, tolerance, and peace.
Arseh Sevom — This week the mother of Neda, the young woman whose death was captured on camera during the demonstrations following the 2009 presidential elections, reminds us of international women’s day. (h/t United4Iran). Ban Ki Moon makes a statement for an end to violence against women and children. Iran’s sociologists report on growing sexual [...]
This week in the review of civil society in Iran we mark the passing of religious scholar and political dissident Ahmad Ghabel and the award of the prestigious Sakharov Prize to filmmaker Jafar Panahi and imprisoned lawyer Nassrin Sotoudeh. The non-binding Iran Tribunal closed in The Hague. United for Iran released a report highly critical [...]
COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Brussels, 23 March 2012 7853/12 PRESSE 119 Human rights violations: Council tightens sanctions against Iran The Council today reinforced EU restrictive measures adopted in response to serious human rights violations in Iran and prolonged them by 12 months. The Council added 17 persons responsible for serious human rights violations [...]
The chances are high that you will be reading this review during the first days of the new Iranian year. Arseh Sevom wishes you a good new year. Last year was disheartening for many civil society actors in Iran, as the regime shut down organizations, arrested many, and harassed even more. Some bloggers are writing [...]
In this issue of the weekly review, Arseh Sevom provides an overview of the economic situation as the New Year approaches and Asghar Farhadi’s call for the reinstatement of Iran’s House of Cinema. We join Amnesty International in celebrating the activism of Iran’s women and listen to their voices against war. We mark the release [...]
All you need to know: a quick breakdown of findings from Dr. Ahmed Shaheed’s UN report This summary provides readers with a quick overview of the human rights report provided by Dr. Ahmad Shaheed to the UN Human Rights Council. It is reposted with permission from the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (7 March 2012) [...]
On January 31, 2012, The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President
of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, issued a statement of concerned about the state of journalists and netizens in Iran. She calls for Iran to review harsh sentences and for a moratorium on the death penalty. The text of the statement follows:
“I am extremely worried about the growing harassment and persecution of journalists and internet bloggers in Iran. The right to free speech is an internationally enshrined fundamental human right, which Iran itself has freely signed up to respect and protect. In the past few weeks, security forces have reportedly arrested many journalists, including Sahameddin Bourghani, Parastoo Dokouhaki, Hassan Fathi, Farshad Ghorbanpour, Ehsan Houshmand, Fatemeh Kheradmand, Saeed Madani, Shahram Manouchehri, Marzieh Rasouli, Arash Sadeghi and Mohammad Soleimani Nia. I call on the Iranian authorities to release these journalists and restore their rights to freely communicate their views.