“On Monday 11 March 2013, the Iranian delegate to the UN Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, was condemned by the UNHRC President for disrespect after he accused UN Special Rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed of collaborating with “notorious terrorists” in producing his human rights report.”
Shaheed, whose report was devastating for the Iranians:
“Drew attention to five Ahwazi Arab cultural activists currently facing execution, stating that they were tortured and were not given a fair trial. He also criticised Iran’s treatment of human rights defenders, raising the issue of five Kurds who were arrested for contacting him on human rights abuse. Other issues addressed in his presentation were the harassment and arrest of independent journalists and defence lawyers, the widespread use of torture, the persecution of religious minorities and the treatment of members of the “Green Movement”.”
Instead of addressing the concerns, Larijani just attacked the UNHRC, the US and of course Israel.
“The money the special rapporteur has received from the U.S. State Department has led to a situation that he cannot write about anything except their anti-Iran desires,” Larijani was quoted as saying, without giving evidence.”
The obsession with Israel is nothing new. While this blog has focused on the media coverage of human rights in Iran, and the opaque nature of the regime’s nuclear facilities, the anti-Semitism oozing out of the regime and its official channels simply cannot be ignored. Press TV, in January, instead of focusing on the targeted nature of the sanctions – or the underlying motivation underpinning the sanctions (see my blog on smart sanctions), again just blamed the Jews.
At least this one they took the blame for; this week Iran openly decided to block VPN access across Iran. VPN allows normal Iranians to access ‘evil sites’ such as Twitter and Facebook. Apparently Skype and Viber are also being blocked. It is almost as if the regime has something to hide (apparently common theme with this regime).
Another significant development the media basically just glossed over, and not for the first time: this week the EU continued to up the pressure on Iran in the human rights area (in addition to the nuclear crisis), by including the director of Press TV and his deputy. You can read the complete list here. Never mind the Press TV reaction….
Meanwhile, an earlier Reuters piece noted:
“The United Nations reported last week that Iran has stepped up executions of prisoners including juveniles as well as arrests of dissidents who are often tortured in jail, sometimes to death.”
But did you see any more articles on the matter? I didn’t. From hanging homosexuals to jailing juveniles; the human rights situation in Iran is getting worse and worse.
International media outlets must remain vigilant to a society which is slowly (as the VPN example demonstrates) closing up; oppressed, repressed and suppressed from above.