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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Draws Attention to Widespread Human Rights Abuses Ahead of UPR Review of Iran
Friday, 12 February 2010 06:03

On Monday 15 February, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to review the human rights situation in Iran during the 7th Session of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR process assesses each of the 192 UN member states once every four years under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, based on reports submitted by the state in question, relevant UN bodies, and other stakeholders, including NGOs and civil society representatives.

Ahead of this review, KHRP would like to draw urgent attention to the high prevalence of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, unfair trials, and the widespread use of corporal and capital punishment in Iran. The lack of transparency in the country’s judicial and penal systems and the worrisome culture of impunity enable and encourage state officials to undermine the right to freedom of expression and association by perpetrating daily abuses of human rights, as exemplified in the brutal crackdown which followed the disputed presidential elections last June.

As highlighted time and again in KHRP’s urgent action appeals to various UN bodies, and as outlined in its briefing paper on Human Rights and the Kurds in Iran last year, women, members of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious minorities, and journalists, human rights defenders and others who speak out on social and political issues, are most at risk. Kurds in particular are deliberately and systematically targeted by the state authorities, with the expression of their identity seen as a threat to the stability and unity of the Iranian state. Often accused of vaguely-worded crimes based on apparent national security concerns, they are arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado with family members unaware of their whereabouts.

KHRP strongly calls on the government of Iran to bring its domestic legislation in line with its obligations under international human rights law. In particular, we urge Iran to sign and ratify the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention against Torture (CAT), as well as withdraw its current reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Progress should also be made towards the abolition of the death penalty, with Iran second only to China for its widespread application of capital punishment, and having earned notoriety as the country that executes more juvenile offenders than any other. It is also vital that oversight of the detention process is strengthened to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as ill-treatment and torture in custody.

‘In light of the recent deterioration in the human rights situation in Iran, the UPR represents a much-needed opportunity to review developments and highlight concerns’, commented KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. ‘The UPR retains the ability to focus international pressure on Iran to improve their acquiescence to international human rights obligations at a time when the issue of nuclear weapons proliferation threatens to overshadow all other concerns.’