We’re concerned by the relative media silence on Iran’s human rights violations since the elections (except, of course, for tweeter/facebook developments). Our readers should be as well.
Tehran would certainly like the international community to believe they’ve ceased to exist. But they haven’t – a brief, very incomplete list: 3,000 prisoners were recently sentenced to death at Ghezal Hesar state prison, and at least 20 prisoners are executed each month; three prisoners were executed in Rasht province two weeks ago for smuggling drugs; and 30 people were arrested at a Tehran concert for violating Iran’s dress code laws, shouting “the Taliban must leave Iran” and “Tehran police should be ashamed.”
Of course, Iran doesn’t like to be reminded of these cases – but the reminders keep coming. Apropos, German Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning recently issued a statement urging Iran to grant medical leave to a political prisoner who was arrested in 2009 and has been on hunger strike in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for the past month (despite suffering from various medical afflictions he says were caused by prison conditions).
The Iranians don’t like Shaheed, and won’t let him in to do his job. No, the Iranians get more value from a visit by a UN official like “humanitarian chief” Valerie Amos, who recently bent over backwards to praise them.
All these cases, too, are part of the new/old Iran’s legacy and deserve coverage. With the UN General Assembly visit by Rouhani and Zarif approaching, this blog hopes the media will challenge them on human rights as well.