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

 


Iran Must Release Human Rights Activist on Hunger Strike

UN Top Official Calls On Iran to Release Human Rights Activist on Long-Running Hunger Strike

New York, Dec 4 2012 - A senior United Nations official today urged the Iranian Government to release a lawyer and human rights activist, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 10 weeks, following reports that her health is deteriorating.

"The High Commissioner has urged the Government of Iran to promptly release Ms. Sotoudeh along with all those activists who have been arrested and detained for peacefully promoting the observance of human rights in the country," Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told a news briefing in Geneva.

"The rights to freedom of expression and opinion, and peaceful assembly are fundamental human rights which must be protected and respected," he added.

Ms. Sotoudeh was arrested on 4 September 2010, and is currently serving a six-year sentence in Tehran's Evin Prison, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was also banned from practising law for 10 years on charges linked to her work as a human rights defender.

On 17 October, she began a hunger strike to protest against her prison conditions as well as a travel ban imposed on her husband and 12-year-old daughter. Shortly after, she was put in solitary confinement and was deprived of family visits for several weeks.

Mr. Colville said High Commissioner Pillay is "extremely concerned" about Ms. Sotoudeh's health - while Iranian authorities claim she is in a good health, her husband, who was recently allowed to visit her, says it has reached a critical stage.

"The High Commissioner urges the Government of Iran to urgently address Ms. Sotoudeh's situation by lifting the travel ban and other sanctions on her family, which cannot be justified under international law," Mr. Colville stated.

The spokesperson noted that UN human rights mechanisms - which include specific committees that monitor the implementation of individual conventions by States parties as well as extra-conventional mechanisms or so-called 'Special Procedures' such as independent experts who report in their personal capacity or as members of working groups - view the imprisonment of Ms. Sotoudeh as arbitrary, and in violation of various provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a State party.

Other activists and their families have also been imposed similar restraints, reflecting a disturbing trend to curb freedom of expression, opinion and association, Mr. Colvile said.

"The High Commissioner is concerned that family members of human rights activists and lawyers are often targeted by the Iranian authorities," he added, pointing to the case of Massumeh Dehghan, the wife of jailed lawyer and human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani, who in November was sentenced to one year in prison and a five-year travel ban for travelling abroad and receiving the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award given to her husband.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news