A group of United Nations human rights experts has issued a statement urging Iran to guarantee the rights of activists who have been put in prison for supporting protests against the mandatory hijab.
“We urge the Government to immediately release all those who have been imprisoned for promoting and protecting the rights of women,” the experts said.
One rights defender, Farhad Meysami, a medical doctor who was arrested in July for protesting the hijab law, has been on a hunger strike since August and facing a serious danger to his health. He has been demanding vague charges against him to be dropped and to be freed from detention.
The U.N. experts expressed alarm at Meysami’s situation and the lack of due process of law in handling his case.
Another rights defender and prominent lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh has also started a hunger strike this week to bring attention to Meysami’s case. The U.N. experts also expressed concern at the in-absentia conviction and subsequent imprisonment of Sotoudeh.
The human rights experts called on Iran to address Mr. Meysami’s demands and to guarantee the rights of Sotoudeh and others not to be “arbitrarily” deprived of their freedom.
Among the signatories of the statement is Javid Rehman, U.N. Special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and four other prominent experts.