August 18, 2019
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran says freedom of expression in Iran has been curtailed. In his second report in six months, he expressed concern about the impact of sanctions on Iran’s “food and drug safety.” Javid Rahman submitted his second report to the UN General Assembly on Friday and it emphasized that in the past year freedom of expression in Iran has been curtailed and human rights abuses have continued.
Rahman said that the information was provided by various sources including non-governmental organizations. He has also contacted representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran. his report highlights the devastating impact of natural disasters over the past six months from flooding that occurred in a significant part of Iran’s territory. Concerns have been raised about the impact of sanctions on “food security, food availability, and the availability of medicines and medical equipment” in Iran. The UN report emphasizes that sanctions had the greatest impact on the lives of ordinary people in Iran.
Rahman then examined the human rights situation in Iran over the past six months and emphasized that the right to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and the right to a fair trial in Iran have been restricted. He also reported harassment of human rights activists, minorities, especially Baha’i citizens of Iran, lawyers, journalists, labor activists, and women protesters who have been forced to wear the hijab. The UN report cited a decline in executions in Iran– five deaths per year– but says Iran still tops the list of countries with the highest number of executions.
Increasing pressure on human rights activists
Another part of the report referred to the intimidation of human rights lawyers, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, who defended women protesters about a forced veil in Iran. She was sentenced to five lashes and a long prison sentence. Eight prominent human rights lawyers were subsequently arrested for defending political prisoners and human rights activists, including Amir Salar Davoodi, who was sentenced to imprisonment and four lashes.