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UN High Commissioner Lambastes Iran Human Rights Record


Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, attends the 36th Sesssion of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, September 11, 2017

Zaid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who was speaking at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on September 11, has said, “My Office has received numerous reports of human rights defenders, journalists and social media activists being arrested and detained”.

Meanwhile, he bitterly criticized physical punishment, including amputation of limbs in Iran, “Ill-treatment of prisoners is widespread, and in addition, the judiciary continues to sentence people to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including amputation of limbs and blinding”.

Insisting that Iran continues to severely restrict freedom of opinion and expression, Ra’ad al-Hussein referred to many cases that had already been reflected in UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran’s, Asma Jahangir, report.

“Iran also remains the country with the highest reported rate of executions per capita. Many of those executed are drug offenders not guilty of "most serious crimes" under the terms of international law. Since the beginning of the year at least four children have been put to death, and at least 89 other children remain on death row”, Ra’ad al-Hussein maintained.

Furthermore, he referred to a slight improvement in the laws of the Islamic Republic, “. Last month, the Iranian Parliament passed a long-awaited amendment which raises the threshold for capital punishment in drug trafficking cases, although some narcotics offenders will still face the possibility of capital punishment. The amendment now awaits approval from the Guardian Council”.

In an interview with Radio Farda’s Mahtab Vahidi-Rad, Iranian human rights activist, Hassan Nayeb Hashem who went to Geneva and attended at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council, notes, “The Iranian government representatives were present at the session in Geneva and listened to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ annual report. They reacted to Ra’ad al-Hussein comments but practically they did not offer any specific defense of the human rights situation in Iran”.

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