As human rights violations in Iran continue to be a source of international concern, Germany issued an urgent statement on Iran to the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of 47 countries.
The statement from Berlin stated that these countries remain “deeply concerned” about the ongoing human rights violations in Iran, especially with regard to the right to freedom of expression, adding that reliable reports of arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment of detainees are of particular concern.
In response to the statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman described the European Union’s procedure for submitting a joint statement to the Human Rights Council as “unacceptable”.
Informed sources confirmed that the French Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador in Paris this week in protest against Iran’s human rights record, alluding to concerns about what Paris calls serious and ongoing violations.
France rarely comments publicly on human rights in Iran, but on September 22, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Dorian said there was a need to do more about what he said had worsened human rights violations following the anti-government protests in November 2019.
This step comes at a time when France, Germany and Britain seek to preserve the nuclear agreement concluded with Tehran in 2015, and at the same time confront the US efforts to increase pressure on Tehran and eliminate this agreement.
On Thursday, September 24, Washington placed a number of Iranian officials and entities on a black list due to allegations of gross human rights violations. The European Union has not imposed sanctions on human rights violations in Iran since 2013.
In response to a report on the European summons in the Guardian, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rejected what he called interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“Iran believes that the behavior that conceals political motives and the selective moves of America and some European governments has always been the strongest blow to the principle of human rights,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
This coincides with human rights organizations publishing a video documenting the violence towards Nader Mokhtari, an Iranian protester who was arrested by the security forces during the November 2019 protests and then died under torture a few days ago.
Human Rights Watch report
Mukhtari died on September 19 in the notorious Kahrizik detention center in Tehran after he was beaten with the aim of extracting his forced confession, according to a report by Human Rights Watch in Iran.
The 35-year-old went into a coma after being beaten with batons, until he passed away on Saturday 19 in Kahrizak.
In a report by Human Rights Watch regarding the human rights situation in Iran for the past year, the organization asserted that the authorities severely suppressed freedom of expression, assembly, and association, while security forces used unlawful lethal force to crush protests, killing hundreds of protesters, in addition to arresting thousands. The authorities have arbitrarily detained more than 200 human rights defenders and imposed prison sentences and flogging on many of them.
The report noted that torture is still widespread in many forms, including the denial of medical care, which was practiced in an organized manner. It added that these violations were committed with impunity, as well as cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments by judicial sentences. Dozens of people were executed, and executions were sometimes carried out in public. Many of those executed were under the age of eighteen at the time of their crime. The past year also witnessed systematic violations of the right to a fair trial, while the authorities continued to commit an ongoing crime against humanity through enforced disappearances by systematically concealing the fate and whereabouts of several thousand political opponents who were extrajudicially executed in the 1980s.