World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iran: UN calls for release of Sakharov Prize winners

Iran: UN human rights experts urge immediate release of Sakharov Prize winners

Geneva, 1 November 2012 – A group of United Nations independent experts called for the immediate release from prison of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer, and Jafar Panahi, an internationally acclaimed film-maker, both of whom were recently awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.

“I am particularly concerned about the situation of Ms. Sotoudeh, whose state of health is reportedly deteriorating due to the hunger strike she commenced on 17 October to denounce her prison conditions and the restrictions imposed on members of her family,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

“The imprisonment of Ms. Sotoudeh and Mr. Panahi appears to be directly linked to their work in the defence of human rights, in clear violation of international human rights standards,” added the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya. “The Iranian Government must make every effort to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of those working to ensure human rights are respected.”

For the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, “the imprisonment of Mr. Panahi for having exercised his right to freedom of expression through his film-making and political activism runs counter to international law and standards that individuals will not be prosecuted for peaceful political speech.” He stressed that “the authorities must take all measures to guarantee the free expression of all individuals in Iran.”

According to reports, at least 32 lawyers and several prominent human rights defenders associated with the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, are currently detained in Iran. They include human rights lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhan, arrested in September this year to serve a nine-year prison sentence.

“I am seriously concerned that the on-going campaign of persecution of human rights lawyers is having grave implications for the adequate functioning and independence of the justice system, which requires lawyers to be able to discharge their professional functions and defend their clients without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference of any sort,” stressed the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul.

“I have repeatedly reminded the Iranian authorities that lawyers should not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes, and that they should not suffer consequences for any action taken in accordance with their professional duties,” Ms. Knaul said.

The UN independent experts urged the Iranian authorities to honour their international obligations and commitments to protect and promote human rights, in particular freedom of expression and opinion, and reiterated their call for the prompt release of Ms. Sotoudeh, Mr. Panahi and other human rights lawyers and defenders detained for exercising their legitimate freedoms.

UN Human Rights, country page - Iran: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/IRIndex.aspx

For more information log on to:
Special Rapporteur on Iran: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/IRIndex.aspx
Human rights defenders: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/SRHRDefendersIndex.aspx
Freedom of opinion and expression: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/OpinionIndex.aspx
Independence of judges & lawyers: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/IDPIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news